9 Things I’d Say My Mom Got Right

Club31Women.com_9 Things I'd Say My Mom Got Right

I hesitated before asking him.

He was only home for a week after all. Just a single week over the Christmas holidays. Only one week gathered together as a family.

The rest of the year our 20-year-old son lives, works, and goes to school a few thousand miles across the country from us. Not that we don’t keep in close touch—because we do. But still . . . it’s not the same as sitting on the same couch together and everyone all talking at once.

And so it wasn’t until the end of the week that I ventured to ask him. Somewhat hesitant.

Makes a mom feel rather vulnerable to ask her oldest son such a question.

You see, this was our first-born. Our experiment. The one with whom I’d messed up and made the most mistakes.

Stressed over.

Cried over.

Prayed over.

So I honestly didn’t know what he’d say now that he’s all grown up and gone.

9 Things I'd Say My Mom Got Right

What really matters and what makes a difference? What would you say to a mom? . . . to me?

He said he’d think about it and get back to me. I opened up his email a couple of weeks ago and here’s what he said:

9 Things I’d Say My Mom Got Right

The following is what I remember – what I loved and what I needed. 

1.     My mom was the one who listened to my hopes and dreams – my heart.

In my life Dad played the role of pushing me to succeed, but my mom was the one who let me just talk. She listened to me share the contents of my small undeveloped mind and heart.

2.     She allowed me to love her.

As I got a bit older my mom was the only woman I ever really hugged. Sure, I hugged my sisters here and there, but generally my mom was the only one who I would go up to and randomly hug. She did not pull away or make a face—in fact she loved it (or at least I think she did).

3.     She encouraged me to play for hours.

Literally countless hours. Hundreds and hundreds of hours. I played – key word here – OUTSIDE all the time growing up. Yes, I had homework and chores, but outside was where I spent my extra time. Those moments are some of the happiest of my life. I have heard, “Go play outside,” about a billion times and 99.99% of them came from my mother.

9 Things I'd Say My Mom Got Right

4.    She gave me the chance to read.

On top of chores, schoolwork, and playing outside, I also spent endless hours reading. I was a relatively late bloomer when it came to reading, but once I started, I read A LOT. My mom often let me off the hook from other tasks ;) when she knew I was reading.

5.    She took the time so I could play with friends.

I still remember when mom would take us to the pool. I remember how she fit in times to hang out with other families. She was willing to drive and move schedules so I could be with kids my age and further stimulate that little brain of mine.

6.     She let us build forts in the house.

And sleep in them. I have built a number of forts in the Jacobson house (along with my ever-willing sisters). Together we built huge blanket forts, pillow forts, cardboard forts—I think we even set up an entire tent in the house once. We read, ate, listened to stories and slept there. It was awesome.

9 Things I'd Say My Mom Got Right

7.     She didn’t let me fill my mind with garbage movies or technological entertainment.

This wasn’t something that I appreciated then, but looking back I certainly do now. Like every kid I wanted to play games or watch movies, but for every time I got to do something in that category there were plenty of hours spent outside or reading. I am certainly much better for it and if you need professional proof – consult any study on the matter.

8.     She never allowed me to disrespect her.

This fits more into the “what I needed” category. My mom never let me hit her or really be anything but loving and gentle with her. That does not mean she had a bad attitude about how rough or just generally boyish I could be—just as long as I treated her respectfully.

9.     She sacrificed for me and loved me with her actions.

I am telling you, there is nothing like a mother’s soft hand on a young boy’s neck and back. I vividly remember one time when I was sick and miserable, burning with fever. I went to the couch and lay down, quite miserable and now lonely. However, only a minute or two later my mom was by my side with a cold wet rag touching my neck and face. A small gesture that still stays with me.

She sacrificed for me time and time again, caring for me with her actions and doing it in a loving manner.

~ Britain Jacobson

Britain JacobsonBritain Jacobson is in his junior year at Patrick Henry College where he is studying Strategic Intelligence. When he’s not busy with classes, homework, or working at one of several jobs, he enjoys reading books, playing soccer, or catching up on current events. Britain is also the well-loved big brother to his 7 younger Jacobson siblings.

So If You’re A Mom….

Those small acts of sacrifice? Those moments of standing strong? Those prayers cried out on your child’s behalf?

Now we know.

They really do matter and they do add up.

You got it right!

~ Lisa Jacobson

P.S.  If you’re wondering if I cried the first time I read this? Why, yes, I did. Sobbed, actually.

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7 Steps To Raising Up A Courageous Young Son

7 Steps to Raising Up a Courageous Young Son

Seemed it was all settled with just one phonecall.

He called to tell us that he probably wasn’t going to make it home that summer. Instead our 20-year old son was heading to Paris and attending a language-immersion school.

Oh, okay.

He was in his second year at a college back east and there’s no denying that we’d miss him. A lot.

But if this was what he was set on doing? What he believed God would have him do?

Then our blessing went with him.

Although I couldn’t help but ask a few questions before he took off . . . .  

Do you know anyone there?

Nope.

Can you speak the language?

Nope.

Have you ever been there before?

Nope.

(Well, at least no one could ever accuse him of being overly verbose. ;) )

“Please pray that I will be a light for Christ on a dark hill.”

That was his one request.

I didn’t know if I should say anything, but it seemed a fairly bold move to make. To venture into a part of the world that he knew nothing about.  To a place where he didn’t even know the language.

It took some courage.

And as this young man still has three younger brothers left at home, it made me wonder what kinds of things a mom can do to help raise up a brave young man.

Because this world could use a few courageous Christian men.

7 Steps Toward Raising Up a Courageous Young Son

 

7 Steps to Raising Up a Courageous Young Son

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. ~ Deut. 31:6

7 Steps to Raising Up A Courageous Young Son

Always consider him as a young man in the making.

Even when he is still quite small, consider your influence in forming his manhood. I had a friend who commended her 3-year-old who patiently waited while she and I finished up a conversation. She quietly affirmed him, “You’re patient and I like that in a man.”

How powerful for a little boy to hear those words from the woman in his life! She was already addressing him as a man in the making.

Teach him to reach for the heights, but have a heart for the lowly.

We want our boys to conquer mountains, to reach for the stars and so he needs to hear our enthusiastic shouts of “I know you can do it!”. Yet he also needs to listen to our quiet reminders, “Look out for her; she can’t walk like you or me.” or “He’s smaller than you. Be sure and help him out.” A good man is mindful of those who need tender care.

Don’t pick him up every time he falls. 

It’s difficult to resist our mothering impulses to rush out when our boy falters, to help him up and comfort him. But to put it bluntly, this does not make for strong men. As he grows older, the greater gift is to help him find his own strength in Christ, rather than depend on mama’s.

Stand by him until he gets back up.

Always believe that he has what it takes to recover and go at it again. Never give up on him and never give in. Stand by your little man.

Direct him toward daddy as his hero.

Mama will always have a special place in his heart, but direct his eyes toward Daddy (or another older, godly man if dad is not part of the picture). Throughout the day, I might say to one of the boys, “Now, Son, what would your dad think about that?” Or “Your dad is a good one to talk over such things.”—often even if I could answer the question myself. (An encouraging resource for single moms: Kim at NotConsumed.)

Leave no doubt you’re his biggest fan.

Boys generally try to act tough. He doesn’t always show that he’s scared or unsure on the inside. So don’t leave the slightest doubt that you are cheering wholeheartedly from the sidelines as he ventures out into this world. He needs to hear more “Go, Son, go!” than he might let on.

Pray for him every day. 

Your faithful prayers as a mother will be the best gift you could ever give your son. I pray for each son’s protection, for guidance, and for his growth in maturity and strength. Our prayers can carry our sons much farther than our arms ever could.

7 Steps to Bringing Up a Courageous Young Son

The Lord bless you, dear mom, to have both the grit and grace to raise up your son into a courageous young man!

We could certainly use a few such men in this world.

In His grace,
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Giving Your Kids the Freedom to Fly {from a Daughter’s Perspective}

Giving Your Kids the Freedom to Fly

This world is big and scary.

And I think parents tend to especially feel this when their kids start to grow up. But many, instead of going about releasing them, only hug them tighter.

The results I have seen with this approach are either young adults who feel restricted and unhappy, or young adults who are content being sheltered at home–both of which are very unhealthy.

You see, “kids” are humans, and God has a plan for each one. 

Individually, specifically.

We were made to find our Creator and His will for our lives . . . so if we are constantly being held back and controlled this chokes the freedom to find out God’s will for our lives.

I know all of my siblings and myself are strong-willed creatures. Ready and wanting to get out in the world and to make a difference. Whether that is creating beauty or fighting evil.

If our parents had tried to restrain us or keep us back, then our relationship with them would be put under great strain if not, in some cases, broken. And really it’s because of our parents that we are ready to do this.

Because as a parent you aren’t just supposed to let your kids go, you are supposed to support them as they go. You are supposed to want them to go.

Freedom to Fly

The Freedom to Fly

The Bible talks about children being arrows in a quiver.

Yes, for a time you get to keep them safe and warm, and then they have to fly to whatever target God wills.

The home is important and I will always want to come back and visit the place and people I love.

But I feel this way because my parents have given me the freedom to fly.

They have hugely supported my adventures. They have delighted in all our kids’ wild, big ideas and, in many cases, ensured that they happen.

And to be honest, sometimes, I think my mom and dad are worried that something might happen to me. But I know they give it back to God and I know they pray.

Because really, if you think about it—you can get hurt in your own backyard by a freak accident. You can be burnt from a house fire. You can be injured anyway and be damaged in your own home town. For sure, in some circumstances there are higher risks, but that’s just a part of life.

But “staying safe” is not the point.

Our parents, though hoping we stay safe as possible, know that that is never the point. The point of our lives should be diving into whatever and wherever we are called.

We are called to be fearless, we are called to be courageous, to not be afraid.

If you are hugging your kids back – if you are wanting them to stay – it’s time to ask yourself whose agenda you are serving.

Because we all serve a big God. And He wants our allegiance.

He wants us to shine in this world and to make a beautiful difference.

Live Free

Savoury in Paris

For the Glory of God

Of course, there can be a time when a child is too young to face the world, and our parents have done a good job waiting until we were ready to release us to the world.

But there does comes a point when a child is strong and ready.

For instance, a few days ago one of my little brothers was accompanied to his basketball game only 2 hours away from our home, while I was navigating London thousands of miles away.

For each one of us kids it has looked different: some are naturally more wise and worldly-wise/practical than others. Some are better at finding their own way, while others are less so.

If there has been a child that my parents have worried about, they try to approach it in the spirit of “How can we make this work?” and “How can we help you accomplish where you want to go–where you are being called?”.

They are not clinging to us, and I guess that’s my main point. They want us to fly.

And yes, there comes a time in a young person’s life when it is time to fly.

And when that time comes: you have to let go: For the glory of God and the fullness of His purposes.

Savoury Jacobson

*So what are some of the hopes and dreams of your child? And/or your concerns as a parent?

Savoury Jacobson Live FreeSavoury is a young, Christian blogger who loves talking about new things with old souls. Her main passion is to inspire people to live free in a world that would put us all in chains. She has many interests ranging from classical music, to politics, to travel. She loves to think and write, but even more than that she loves to do. You can find more of Savoury over at her blog, SavoryThots and her travel blog, Live Free: My Travels Around the World. You can also follow her travels on Instagram.

 And if you’re wondering about her last name? Yes, Savoury is our oldest daughter.  She recently returned from traveling through France and Britain, staying with different families throughout both areas. This adventure came after a lot of hard work, saving, and planning on her part—and prayer on all our parts. We are very grateful for the kind hospitality shown her along the way (many whom were through Club31Women here!) and God looking after her safety and well-being. And she hopes to return to her travels very soon! ~ Lisa Jacobson P.S. And, um, her dad and I did “sometimes worry”. ;)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

Raising Kids to Shine Bright in a Dark World {& FREE eBook}

Club31Women.com_Raising Kids to Shine Bright in a Dark World

Please pray that I will be a bright light on a dark hill.

That’s the text that came through on my phone.

Our oldest son, now 20 years old, was in Paris studying in a French language immersion program for the summer. He proposed the idea earlier in the school year – his sophomore year at college – and decided this would the best way to complete his language credits . . . as well as get to see some more of the world.

So that’s how it came about that our son was staying in the heart of Paris for nine weeks—far away from both friends and family.

A young man alone.

Certainly not the ideal scenario for a Christian parent to consider.

His dad and I were never naive about what he might encounter there, having spent some time in Paris ourselves in earlier days. Yes, we were rather familiar with the spiritual darkness and moral depravity rampant throughout the ironically named, “City Of Light”.

And now it would seem that the streets of Paris were worse than ever. Filthy, dirty, immoral, and oppressively dark. Our son’s description of the conditions around him were even worse than we feared.

The Streets of Paris

Come Home Now

So did I have the impulse to text him back?

To text him something along the lines of, COME HOME. NOW.

Why, yes, I did.

A strong impulse to do that very thing.

I mean, what mother wouldn’t feel sick to her stomach to imagine her son facing just about every temptation the world has to offer?

Drunkenness, carousing, sexual pleasure. It was all his for the taking.

Actually, it went further than that.

The immoral life was all there just begging, urging – even pressuring – him to take it in. The young women were literally throwing themselves at him, confused and somewhat disgusted that he would refuse the easy opportunity to take them to bed. What was his problem anyway?

But that’s not the way we raised him.

We raised our son, along with his seven other siblings, in a Christian home where Christian values were taught and upheld. We looked to the Bible for our source of moral instruction and life guidance. We attended our local church gathering every Sunday, prayed and read the Bible as a family, and boldly called ourselves Believers.

So that was good . . . .

Club31Women.com_Raising Heavenly-Minded Down-to-Earth Kids

Is a Christian Upbringing Enough?

But was it really enough? Does this kind of upbringing adequately prepare our children to grow up and, say, go off to Paris for the summer?

No. It really isn’t.

A disappointing answer, but there you have it.

Both you and I know it’s not enough.

We’ve seen far too many kids leave their good, Christian homes and never look back.

Or, at least never look back at their Christian training.

And such a trend terrifies me—me and a whole lot of other Christian parents.

There is a solution, however. Have you heard of it? It’s simple, really.

Never let your kids out of the house.

Hmm . . . no, even that’s not radical enough. Never them let out of your sight. Completely protect them and make all the decisions for them. Preferably for the rest of their lives.

I can see a few of you scoffing all the way from here. Ridiculous! That’s not any kind of solution.

I see what you mean and agree with you. But whether you realize it or not, there are parents who are trying to do just this very kind of thing in a desperate attempt to keep their kids on the straight and narrow.

And I can hardly blame them.

Why risk your children falling into sin and immorality if you can help it? Why risk them rejecting their entire upbringing and walking away from Christianity?

A moral dilemma to be sure.

But if we keep our children from all temptation and keep them from going out into the world where they might fall . . . and even possibly reject their faith altogether . . .

How will they reach a lost and dying world for Christ? How will they grow strong in their own faith? And how will they marry and raise Christian families of their own?

Yes, how?

These are exactly the kind of questions my husband and I have seriously wrestled with over the years. So what goes into bringing up children who have their hearts set on heaven and their feet planted firmly on solid ground?

How do we raise heavenly-minded, down-to-earth kids?

Club31Women.com_Raising Heavenly Minded Down to Earth Kids

Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids

Raising Kids to Shine Bright in a Dark World is taken from the first chapter of the ebook, Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids by Lisa Jacobson.

Now as a thank-you gift to the wonderful subscribers to Club31Women – for all your encouragement and faithful support – I would like to offer this as a free ebook for you. Anyone who subscribes (either in the past, or going forward) will receive a copy of this new parenting book.

As always, please feel free to share this with any friends or family that you think might be blessed by the ministry here as well!

*For those of you who have already subscribed, you will find the link under the attached post: A Free eBook for Subscribers.

Happy New Year, my friends! I pray that it’s a year filled with His light shining into your heart, your home, and out into the world!

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” ~ Matthew 5:14

In His grace,

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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage  and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

What His Word Says About How He Sees Me {& 2 Book Giveaway}

What His Word Says About How He Sees Me

*I am so thrilled for you to meet Sara Hagerty! She is a new friend and fellow contributor at TheBetterMom. After meeting her, I began reading her newly released book, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, and I literally couldn’t put it down. Her beautiful words and powerful ministry reached deep inside my soul. I pray you will be as blessed and encouraged by her today! ~ Lisa

As I sighed under my breath towards her, I caught her eye.

She’d heard the exasperation that was intended only for me. Her sister was on edge, too. She needed my cheek against hers and my hand on her back, but in my tiredness she got the one-sentence pep-talk that rarely moves a heart. I was coach, today, barking instructions and correcting their errors. I couldn’t see them past the seven things on my list that needed to be done (yesterday) and the fact that I was hours away from dinner and I’d forgotten the main ingredient at the grocery store meat counter. Again.

They were players on a field, not hearts, to me on this day.

But the real evaluation happening in our home was centered around me. Failed! — at the chance to reach her when my sigh betrayed my words. Failed! — at speaking to where she was when I used flat phrases. Failed! — at training when I chose to command, not teach. Failed! — at keeping up with yesterday, which left me in the negative today. All capped off by another family dinner from Chipotle to cover over this mama’s gaps.

I carried my internal report card into the nook off our bedroom, without even noticing. It’s hard to catch on to your own scrutiny when you’re always under it. As I stepped across the threshold into that sacred place where I get to breathe, I heard on my inside His declaration over me: yes, this is good. And I knew as I absorbed the words that “this” meant my home, these children, this environment we’d created in the space that held more laundry and disparate doll clothes and random puzzle pieces than I’d like.

He had a declaration for me that day. It was different than my own.

What His Word Says About Me

Good.

I sank into the overstuffed chair by the fireplace and took note of this pause. He hadn’t waited for a quiet moment so as to better instruct my mommyhood or, rather, to tell me to silence those thoughts. He’d intersected a “C” day on my internal report card with a new grade. The one that actually mattered.

And all of a sudden, I saw it. It was good. My day flipped on its ear after that one phrase from Him. Instead of all the failure, I remembered how she’d let me hold her, long — the one who usually resisted me. And her sister didn’t read words, but pages that day. In my lap. The little tike had a rough morning and I helped him make his bed and he left his room standing tall.

I had missed it all in my scrutiny.

But God had a better word over my day.

What HIs Word Says About How He Sees

The One who spun beauty has an eye for what He made that we can’t mimic; it can only be imparted to us. And any evaluation I might make of my life — and my mess — independent of His, leaves me living in gnawing dissatisfaction.

Mamas, in the twenty-four hour span of today, He saw the dozen diapers you changed and the six times you wiped down the counter after their sippy cup spilled and how you held her, tight, when you really just wanted to plop her into bed. He saw the book you read him, again, and the block tower you built. He saw you folding sixteen pairs of panties and matching an equal number of socks that would be un-matched and worn in days. He saw you wipe her nose that could have just run all day.

He saw your “yes” today. Weak as it may be, His eye witnessed your weak yes.

It’s how He defined you.

Your list is likely different, if you’re like me and fighting a lifetime of negative thinking. You noted when you were short with her. And when you left him to run outside with his shoes untied, just because you didn’t want to tie them again. You didn’t forget that you checked your phone when she was tugging on the hem of your shirt saying “up, Mommy, please.”

We take this information — these analyses on our day — and use it as our catalyst for change. We hang it over our heads like a banner — “better not do that again” — in hopes that a “C” report card may motivate us to make an “A” tomorrow.

But it’s not working. We’re not changing.

Because it’s not the way He works change.

But by my Spirit, He says.

The Spirit of God does not function within our human constructs. His ways that are higher aren’t just better so that we have a tighter list of rules by which we can achieve that “A”. They are other.

They are love of an other-worldly kind.

He sees my weak mommy moments as opportunity and, while not afraid to call them out, He leads me to Himself by His gentle eyes towards my weakness.

What His Word Says On How He Sees Me

I fall under a long line of greats — Abraham, Jacob, David, Peter to name a few — whose God called and labelled them by their weak “yes”, not by their dozens of life-”no”s. They grew because they received, and then believed, God’s perspective on them.

If this mama is going to grow in Him and not just live, stagnant, under a story of what He did once-way-back-when in my life, I need to start believing not only what His Word says about Him but what His Word says about how He sees me. On my worst days.

His love doesn’t fit inside the world’s understanding of love.

And it’s on my worst days, as I mutter one weak “yes” towards Him, that I have the best chance of seeing just how other it is.

Try it on for size: Begin to study in the Word the emotions of God’s heart towards you when you are weak. Give it a week, or three, and watch how you’re relating towards her changes. When we get stuck in our love towards them — when we get stale in our mundane moments — it is inevitably tied to stale impressions of Him. Here are a few isolated verses to start with — however, doing a study on those like Abraham, Jacob, David, and Peter and God’s stance towards them will shed light on how He really sees His broken people:  Exodus 34:6, Micah 7:18, Isaiah 55:7-9, Lamentations 3:22-23, Psalm 18:35, Psalm 103:10, Psalm 103:14, Psalm 16:11, Romans 2:4, Jeremiah 29:11-12, 1 John 4:19.

For Your Continued Pursuit: John 6:63 | Zechariah 4:6 | Romans 2:4 | Hebrews 6:10 | Hebrews 11:3 | Isaiah 55:8-9 | Psalm 24:6 | Matthew 16:18 | Hebrews 11:21 | Acts 13:22 | Psalm 18:35

A Giveaway for Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

Now I’m delighted to be able to offer two copies of Sara’s new book, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet! And to give you a sense of how much I enjoyed her book, here’s what I said in my review:

This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a very long time. Sarah Hagerty is a particularly gifted writer (she has the most lovely writing style!) and her story touches the deepest of places. I found myself stopping many times while reading and just staring off as I pondered the truth of what she had to say. Inspiring, convicting, and touching. I highly recommend this book! ~ Lisa Jacobson

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

You can purchase her book HERE (I’m actually getting several copies to give for Christmas presents! Shh…..):

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things

You can also enter to win one of two copies here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*A few helpful directions: If you follow either of us on Instagram, simply copy the link provided (example: http://instagram.com/everybitterthingissweet) in the little “box” and you’re good to go!

*Lovely photos are with thanks to Mandie at seeingjoy.com

Sara Hagerty - Every Bitter Thing Is SweetSara is a wife to Nate and a mother of five whose arms stretched wide across the expanse between the United States and Africa. After almost a decade of Christian life she was introduced to pain and perplexity and, ultimately, intimacy with Jesus. God met her and moved her when life stopped working for her. And out of the overflow of this perplexity, came her writing, both on her blog and in her book – Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, just released via Zondervan.

Sara’s Blog: Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet
The Book: Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

How to Build a Sweet Home Together

How to Build a Sweet Home Together as a Family

“That’s one memory I’ll never forget.”

That’s how the conversation began.

“I’ll always remember that sugar-cube castle,” our teenage daughter told me.

My mind did a quick shuffle, sorting through thousands of files, until the right image came up.

Oh, yes. I remember now.

But why? Why did that particular memory stand out so?

The children were young – six of them under the age of nine years. The youngest babies weren’t too much trouble, but the “older” girls were giving me grief.

They had picked up the very bad habit of picking at each other.

A little snide remark here and a slight put-down there.

It was a very destructive habit and I knew it.

The Sugar-Cube Castle

So one night as I lay there crying out to the Lord for wisdom, this idea came to me.

It wasn’t one that I’d read about in a book or article; it just popped into my head out of nowhere.

The nearest thing to a vision.

And in this dream, I pictured a little house made all out of sugar cubes.  It was beautiful and sweet, made with the hands of my own dear young girls.

Along with the picture came this particular verse:

The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands (Proverbs 14:1).

With that a plan was set in motion . . . .

The very next day I announced enthusiastically that we were going  do a craft together. What great  fun!

So all that morning we built a lovely home made out of nothing but sugar cubes and frosted mortar.

We were like sugarplum fairies in a storybook.

And, oh, when it was done – such a charming sight to see!

As we worked, I shared with the girls that we were like the wise woman who builds up her home, adding a caution that we should be careful not to tear it down. To this they happily agreed and we all drifted into the kitchen to fix some lunch.

But good intentions are not always enough to overcome bad habits.

And, sure enough, the little tearing-down remarks soon started up.

I didn’t say anything this time, however, but merely walked over to our Sweet Home and carefully . . . deliberately . . . pulled one of the cubes out of its special place.

A dark, gaping hole was left staring its ugliness at us all.

A horrified gasp! 

Once again, I gently explained that every time one of us “tears” at each other, we are essentially tearing down our house. The reverse is true as well: each time we lift each other up, we are building it up.

So if that “hole” in the wall bothered them—and believe me, it did enormously!—it would help them remember what they were essentially doing to our own home. 

That if they wanted to build up, to create and to make beautiful, they would need to say something kind and uplifting instead.

After that, I rarely said a word. I would either quietly remove – or add – blocks as was necessary.

I can’t say how long this went on—maybe a few weeks? But this picture did more for them than all my lectures and corrections seemed to have done in the months previous.

I really do wonder now if it was a heavenly vision after all.

How to Build A Sweet Home as a Family

My hope is that it brings Good Memories – and a Sweet Home – for many years to come. 

And I hope the same for your home too. 

In His grace,

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