How One Mom Can Change The World

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A precious and powerful guest post by Emily T. Wierenga

I saw them walk into the church one Sunday, all five of them, the boys in their long pants and button-up shirts and the girls in their dresses, heads ducked low. They’d just lost their mother to a brain aneurism and I swore I’d never complain about another dirty diaper.

And then the next day my eldest son dumped the potty on the floor, a full potty, and my foster boys were fighting and my youngest fell down the stairs and got a black eye.

I gathered him up and ran to the office and sat on the floor and cried, rocking my baby back and forth wondering why God had asked me to be a mom, this girl who’d been told she wouldn’t be able to have children, this girl who had never wanted children—had only ever wanted to be famous. To be known, because of some deep unloved holes in her heart.

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Sometimes I escape to the back deck and listen to the silence, to the way the snow falls—softly, uninhibited—smelling the laundry through the chute and wishing for the same kind of significance I felt as a single person. Or even as a newly married person. The ability—and time—to do something profound because I didn’t have four little boys on my lap.

And then I turn and see their tiny faces pressed against the glass of the back door, their foreheads wrinkled and my baby’s lip beginning to tremble and I know without a doubt I’m famous. Despite the spit-up on my shirt, I matter in a huge way. This mothering, matters.

And not only that, but motherhood is revolutionary. It changes the world.

We live in a culture that insists mothers deserve spa-days and hot cups of coffee and time to remember that they are women—and to an extent, I agree. I grew up as a pastor’s daughter whose mother never had time to herself, who was always serving, and she was exhausted and sad. I swore I’d never become a mother because it ruins you, it wrecks you–and in many ways, it does.

But in the same way that Jesus says a seed cannot produce fruit unless it falls to the ground and dies, we as mothers cannot produce fruit in our children (or in the world) unless we too die to ourselves.

Being a perfect housewife is not the same as being a revolutionary mom. Being a revolutionary mother means taking time each day to snuggle with your children. To read them the same story over and over, to kneel down and look them in the eyes and tell them they mean the world to you. To pray with them and take flowers and meals with them to the lonely and teach them how to fly a kite.

A mother’s sacrifice is her child’s reward. They will not remember how clean were your floors. They will remember how you took time to sound out the words in their Winnie the Pooh book, or how you stretched out your arms and said, “I love you.”

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And this, friends?

This changing of the world?

It makes children of us all.

* * * * * *

Mothers? Friends? Will you help me change the world in a BIG way today, for 30 children from Rwanda? It will just take a moment… please read on.

Do you remember back in January when I visited Rwanda, HERE, and met all of those kids standing across the wire fence with their moms, staring wistfully at the students in their uniforms? And how I reached across that fence and took down their names, one by one, promising that I would help them get into that school? Because I know that education is one of the only ways out of poverty.

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I have gone and set up a page on my blog with 30 children who need sponsoring from that same village… those children, they could be on the other side of the fence by the end of the year. Would you consider reaching across the wire and taking their hand? You would change a life. But more than that–you would stop the cycle of poverty for yet another generation.

Here is the page: http://www.emilywierenga.com/sponsor-rwanda/

Scroll down and you’ll find dozens of beautiful faces, all with very hard stories. If you right-click on a face and click “save as” you’ll see their name and number. If you want to either sponsor or learn more about that particular child, just email me and let me know, and I’ll send you the info: wierenga (d0t) emily (at) gmail (dot) com.

Here is info about World Help’s sponsorship program; in addition to learning about Jesus Christ, these children will have access to food, clean water, clothing, and an education:

“Our current sponsorship level is $35 per month. The most convenient way to give is through credit card or bank draft, and this can be done monthly, quarterly, or even annually. The way our program operates is a little different from some other organizations. The funds from a sponsorship do not go directly to each child or family in cash. Rather, the funds are sent to each program site and then used to meet the needs of all the children in the program. This way, if a child loses his or her sponsor, that child is still taken care of. So at Star School, the funds from sponsors help fund the operation of the school as a whole and allows low-income and disadvantaged children to attend with minimal school fees, or in many cases, free-of-charge. At Star School, the children receive a top-notch education, food, school supplies, and access to the on-site clinic. For children who live on campus, it covers their room and board. You can read more about how World Help uses funds here: http://worldhelp.net/about/financials/

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Let’s change the world, friends. One child at a time.

EmilyEmily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including an upcoming memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

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FREE Printable – 24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Man to be a Gentleman

24 Ways to a Gentleman Printable

So many people requested a print-out of last week’s post - 24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Man to be a Gentleman – that I asked one of our daughters to see what she could do. And don’t you just love what Design Girl came up with? (me too :))

24 Ways to a Gentleman Free Printable

This poster is going up in our boys’ bedroom for sure!

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly. Nor stands in the path of sinners. Nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord. And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. That bring forth its fruit in season. Who leaf also shall not wither. And whatever he does shall prosper. ~ Psalm 1:1-3

Blessings on you and the young men you’re raising. I pray each one will grow up to be a gentleman who brings honor to the King.

In His grace,

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Raising Heavenly Kids

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24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Man to Become a Gentleman

24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Man

Boys will be boys.

For sure. But he can learn to be a gentleman as well. A gentleman in the right sense – not in a sissy, unreasonable manner – but a kind, respectful and godly young man.

It’s not that we’d ask our son to sit with his hands folded or keep him from running, building or exploring. No way. But we do hope he’ll learn to be wise, to consider others, and to remember that he’s a son of the King.

A true gentleman.

24 WAYS

  1. Fear The Lord. It’s the beginning of knowledge. Prov. 1:7
  2. Listen carefully. A wise man listens intently and learns much. Prov. 1:5
  3. Pay attention to your father’s instruction. You’ll be glad you did. Prov. 1:8
  4. And don’t forget your mother’s teaching. She has wisdom to offer. Prov. 1:8b
  5. Control your temper.  “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Prov. 16:32).
  6. Keep your word. A gentleman follows through on what he says he will do.
  7. Don’t hang out with the ungodly. Bad company corrupts good morals. I Cor. 15:33.
  8. Invest in strong, loyal friendships. The kind of friend who “sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).
  9. Do what needs to be done. Without being told. Don’t wait to be asked when you know what you should do.
  10. Look sharp. Not sloppy or slovenly – simply neat and clean will do.
  11. Trust in The Lord. And don’t rely on your own understanding. Prov. 3:5
  12. Don’t chafe at correction. Consider it an opportunity to learn and grow.  Prov. 3:11.
  13. Be known as a hard worker. Learn to enjoy your job and take on whatever must be tackled. Prov. 6:6.
  14. Walk in purity. Avert your eyes and run from immorality. There is power in purity.
  15. Be polite. “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” – Theodore Roosevelt
  16. Work out. Keep in shape. A young man should be strong and fit for whatever he might be called upon to carry out.
  17. Watch over those who are younger or weaker than you. Never be too big for the small.
  18. Serve others.  To humbly serve is a very manly quality. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently. Follow Christ’s example.  (Phil. 2).
  19. Look after the ladies. Step back to let her in the door first. Offer to carry heavy items for her. Protect and defend her.
  20. Make study a life-long habit. Commit to learning as much as you can about as many subjects as you can. Read books, research, observe and ask questions.
  21. Show respect for those who are older than you. Look them in the eye and shake their hand. Listen to what they have to say.
  22. Flee from sin. Get out of there immediately when you encounter temptation. (I Tim. 6:11).
  23. Be bold. As a lion. A righteous man doesn’t need be shy about what’s right. Prov. 28:1.
  24. Love God’s Word. Blessed is the man…whose delight is in the law of The Lord. Psalm 1.

A FREE Printable of these can be found here: 24 Ways to a Gentleman – Free Printable

So yes, boys will be boys. But prepare them to be gentlemen too.

In His grace,
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24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Girl to Become a Lovely Woman

24 Ways to PrepareYou wouldn’t guess just by looking at her.

That she’s not so much a young girl, but a more of a woman every day. And that now it’s as though there’s only a small window of time to teach her the many lessons she should learn. This fleeting, but oh-so-wonderful chance to share wisdom to a girl who’s growing up right before you.

Because you and I both know it takes a lot to be a woman. And even more to be a lovely one. You understand – it’s not so much her appearance – but what goes on in her heart and in her mind. Things of truth and beauty. Of courage and kindness. Of strength and sweetness.

Loveliness.

So how do you prepare her for that?

 

24 WAYS

  1. Be gentle in words and actions. Let your beauty come from a gentle and quiet spirit (I Pet. 3:4).
  2. Determine to be strong. As a woman, you’ll face many situations where you’ll need to be steady and of a sound mind. Strength and honor are her clothing (Prov. 31:25).
  3. Live purely. There’s goodness and power in purity.
  4. Choose joy. You will bless everyone around you with your joyful countenance. Besides, it’s a lovely way to live.
  5. Seek wisdom. And as wisdom comes from above, look up (James 3).
  6. Laugh freely. It will lighten your spirit and everyone else around you too.
  7. Care for your health. Be sure and eat good foods, exercise, and get enough rest. If you care for yourself, then you’ll be better able to care for others too.
  8. Speak sweetly. People will be able – and more open – to listen to you if you do.
  9. Be willing to work hard. Learn to enjoy your tasks and take on what must be tackled (Prov. 31:13).
  10. Sing loudly. A song can both change a mood and give glory to God. So make a loud noise! (Ps. 98:4).
  11. Study many different things. Decide you’re going to be a life-long student. Learn about gardening, ancient history, bread-baking, new languages, natural medicine, geography, or anything else that fascinates you.
  12. Look after those in need. Have compassion on others and use your gifts to bless them.
  13. Bring beauty into your life. And into the life of others. Whether it be flowers, art, poetry, handwork, or bright colors.
  14. Walk through trials in faith.  Don’t walk in your own strength, but trust Him who will carry you through.
  15. Dress with modesty. Truly lovely. I Tim. 2:9
  16. Invest in a few good friends. Make time for and pursue relationships with those who can encourage you, inspire you and challenge you.
  17. Prepare delicious foods. Bless those around you with your simple culinary gifts.
  18. Spend time alone in the Word. Don’t ever get too busy for time with your God.
  19. Be kind to others. Kindness isn’t all that hard to offer and yet has such a significant impact on those around you. And on her tongue is the law of kindness (Prov. 31:26b).
  20. Serve cheerfully. Look to Christ as your example, not what the world says about service. Nothing begrudging or stingy there (Phil. 2).
  21. Pray about all things. Don’t try to solve everything by yourself, but go to your Heavenly Father with your joys, cares and concerns (Eph. 6:18).
  22. Watch what you say. Your words have power to build up or tear down. So use them carefully.
  23. Love others deeply.  I Corinthians 13.
  24. Draw near to God.  And He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)

Yes, it takes a lot to be a woman. And even more to be a lovely one. But it’s so what I want for her.

It’s what I want for me too.

Lovely living. As a woman.

(And now you can find the Free Printable here: 24 Ways to Prepare Her to be a Lovely Woman Printable. )

In His grace,

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