Monday, May 9, 2011

Motherhood Blessings

I was going to write about this topic weeks ago
but had computer problems on the very day I was going to post it.
Then life has gotten wicked busy.
I've barely written on here and knew this post would take much
thought and prayer to complete.
This morning, I really felt it was the day to write it.
I was reminded last evening of the topic.

Yesterday was Mother's Day.
My husband and boys have always made the day very special for me.
I'm truly blessed to have them in my life!

Last evening in church, one special song was sung by a mother
and her three young daughters. The song was all about 
how quickly time goes and the memories made during the years
our children are home.
While it was being sung, I could  sniffling.  I looked over and it 
was my husband!  Then he reached forward and rubbed my oldest son on his back.
He also was crying!
I think it's hitting both of them that our oldest is graduating next month and change
happens rather quickly.

When our oldest boys were younger, we studied and searched for child 
training information.  We truly feel God's Word is thorough in every 
area of life, including rearing our children.
Both my fella and I grew up in "church"  homes and in church.
Many  peers I grew up with and my fella grew up with either 
went through a time of rebellion or have totally rebelled away from the Lord and His Word.
We did NOT want this for our boys.  
Too much is at stake (eternity)!!

As our boys got a little older and we began to gather our convictions
on rearing our boys we heard many comments.
"You're sheltering too much!"
"Boys will be boys!"
"Just wait until those teen years!"
"Rebellion is normal for teen years!"
We even heard that we "worshiped" our family.
Man, this was "encouraging"!
Yet the Lord is so good!
He always sent a family or book or some bit of encouragement along as we needed it.
We continued to pray and plead with the Lord to help us.
We KNOW we're so far from perfect and do not have all the answers.
 (I once read sheltering is keeping our children away from
negative influences while directing them toward positive ones.   Sheltering
is a good thing!
Some things just seemed so simple to us and so basic yet why did 
we feel like we were the "only ones" doing it? 
(We know we aren't but at times it felt like it!)

My fella has been the one to sacrifice much!
Because we have all boys, he's been the one to do most things with them.
I'm so thankful for a focused husband.
At times, I've wanted to give in but he sees the long run picture of things.

These are just some of the things we've decided along the way
that helped keep our boy's hearts.
*Our boys always sit with us during church meetings.

*We do not allow the boys to go to peer aged parties without one of us 
or without an older sibling.  (We're finally to the point that our oldest
can go and supervise and drive the younger boys to a friend's party).

*NO sleep-overs, either here at home or at a friend's.

*We chose not to allow the boys to participate in league sports
(this one is very touchy so I won't go there!)  :)

*My fella trained the boys to work and to work hard!

*Once the boys became teenagers and were able to start attending our 
church's youth group, my fella sat in there each week to keep an eye on things.
Some say it's because we don't trust anyone else so we have to be there.
That is not true!  I know there are other adults that would do just as well as us and 
maybe even better.
But we feel our job is to keep our children's hearts.
We know our boys have sinful hearts and therefore need to be watched.
Who knows a child better than a parent?  We can see just by looking on our boy's faces
if there is rebellion.  We can see if there is a struggle to do right. We know 
our boys.  We want to be there for them each step along the way.
This is just something we decided right from the start!
It was a huge sacrifice for my fella. 
The youth group met at the same time as the church choir.  My fella
enjoys singing.  So this meant he had to quit choir to attend the youth 
group.  But he felt it was the best for our family.
At first he just began attending the youth group.
He was later asked to lead the group.
This meant planning activities, going to camp, etc.
This also meant lots of more time to sacrifice!
It's been such a blessing to be involved in every activity with our boys.

*We have chosen to home school our children.

*Our television is used only for approved movies.  We do not have cable
and only get a couple of channels.  These are highly supervised for special 
sport games and the commercials are turned off.

*Our boys do not have phones, computers or other communication
devices until we feel there is a NEED to have one.  
*We try to praise character over achievement!  Our culture
praises achievement in many areas-sports, good grades, talents, etc.
While we stress it's important to do our best, it's better to have 
godly character than an A.  It's God who has blessed us with our abilities, NOTHING
of our own merit.
*Our boys don't date.  We feel dating is meant to be done with the goal of
marriage.  Until our boys are ready to provide and lead a girl emotionally,
physically, financially and spiritually  there is no need to date around.
They can be friends with girls but it is very watched and cautious.
(I chose the word date.  For me, "date" means to form any kind of attachment
with the opposite sex.  Emotional dating can be just as damaging to young people).

These are just a few things that have helped us during our boy's teen 
years.  Of course, if the ground work is not done in the younger
years, these can't be done successfully!  
If the child is not taught to obey completely when young, they
won't all the sudden obey the rules given as a teen.
If a young child is not taught to fear and respect authority, they won't
all the sudden obey and respect authority as a teen or even as an adult!

I am not saying these are the "tricks" to guarantee your children "turn out as you've trained
them."  These are just some things we've done with the goal of keeping
our boy's hearts.  I'm sure there are many more that we could of done better
 but these are the ones I could think of that we've tried to stay focused on
doing when the "pressure" was not to do them.   Each family has to come
up with their own standards for their home as they see best fits their lifestyles.
But remember, as a Christian, you will give account for your home!
This is NO easy task!  It takes focus, wisdom,  constant attention and prayer!!

Now as we plan our oldest son's graduation and party,
it's a time of rejoicing and gladness.
Jordan has been a total blessing and joy in our home.
He's become a friend to my husband and me.  I constantly ask him for advice and help
and am always pleased with the response.  
He's becoming more and more independent and becoming a help
to others around us.  What a joy to see others begin to be blessed by our son!

Of course, we are not done as we have 7 other boys that are still under our care.
Each day I pray our home will be pleasing to the Lord and our boys will
always live 100 percent for God and by His Word!  What a HUGE task we
have as parents! 

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will 
not depart from it.    Proverbs 22:6


  1. That was a great post! You should write a book! Thanks for the encouragement to go on "sheltering" my kiddos:) Congratulations on homeschooling your first to graduation! God is so Good!

  2. Tammy,
    Just look at you, surrounded by those handsome boys! Your family is beautiful and I truly admire the convictions you share here. There is nothing more precious than training our children to walk in the ways of the Lord. It sure sounds like your brand of "sheltering" is working out just fine! So glad you linked up to Playdates today. :)

  3. I never thought of it as sheltering, I thought of it as training. We don't send our boys to war without training so we shouldn't send our children into the world without training.Good job Tammy & Mark