Reconciliation Through Care of Our Turtles

Harris8Since I’ve been learning to take on my children’s concerns about their animals and make them my concerns, [see my previous post] the Lord is working even more reconciliation in my family through my obedience to Him about our turtles!

We had a turtle named Jordan for about 8 years, and we recently added another turtle, which we named Rebecca Sara. The turtles have mainly been my 17-yr-old daughter’s pets.

I am now working on healing the damage done to my relationship with my daughter from all the awful shaming and guilting, etc. that I did before. I am so saddened as I look back at it.[see my previous post]

The Lord used Jordan’s (the turtle) sudden sickness to rework some of the uncaring and unloving in me. When my daughter saw that Jordan wasn’t doing well, the Lord told me NOT to hold back in trying to help her. I treated Jordan just like I would my kiddos. We brought out all the big expensive essential oils and we used them on her turtle.

This had an impact on my daughter because she knows that we don’t ‘waste’ these oils on frivolous things. She knew that I was loving this turtle, and in a sense, also loving her because I was caring about something that she cared about.

After we started treating Jordan with oils, the turtle instantly improved (within an hour or two). In fact, she improved so much so fast that we didn’t think much more about it. We left the next day for a 3-day trip, but when we got back, Jordan was NOT doing well. We started to use the oils again, but she was already pretty far gone. She had massive internal bleeding and swelling.

As we used the oils, we did an all night vigil. The next day, we took Jordan outside on our porch and we took turns watching and caring for her. We used more oils and she improved, but it wasn’t enough. Jordan ended up dying early that afternoon.

I went to the store, and bought the prettiest little box that I could find. I also got the prettiest paper that I could find in the colors that my daughter loves. I got a card and wrote a note for my daughter, and brought her the box. I encouraged her to write a note for Jordan and to put anything inside the box along with Jordan that she felt lead to do. She did.

I don’t know what all she put in there. She didn’t feel open enough with me to share her heart and her concern about something she loved so much. For the first time I didn’t take offense to that. I chose not to think about how this made me look and just choose to be compassionate for her. In the past I would have been upset that she wouldn’t share with me, because I would have been more concerned about how bad it made me look as a mom, rather than being concerned about why she wasn’t wanting to share with me. She really had no reason to trust me concerning any care or love for her turtles because of all the years I didn’t care, and for the first time, I was willing to see that and let it go, knowing in my heart that I wanted this area to be transformed.

When my husband came home, we all went to the pond where Jordan was originally found, and we buried her there. We talked about good times with Jordan, we said a prayer for her, and we loved on each other.

Harris2My husband works about 18 hours a day right now, so for him to be willing to do this after a long days work, was also a big blessing for my children.

Now Rebecca Sara (our other turtle) was left alone in the tank, and that was hard for my children as well.

About a month ago, Rebecca started looking sick. We talked about Jordan and whether or not we felt that the oils helped or hurt. My daughter really did believe they helped, and that if we hadn’t gone away and noticed she needed further treatment, Jordan would have lived. I felt that way, too, so once again, we did an all night vigil for Rebecca (the turtle). She pulled out of it by the next night, and it was once again a very healing thing for my relationship with my daughter.

Over the past few months, my daughter has worked with Rebecca Sara and now she is doing so much better, and my daughter is doing so much better too! She is not feeling alone with the turtles any more. We used to make her feel like the turtles are ‘just her responsibility’. Now she’s seeing that we love these animals, too. They were a part of our family.

I’m seeing that the works of His hands, are so much better than the awful works of my own hands!

I am so thankful to have been lead to this ministry! We still have a ways to go, but I am seeing that step-by-step we are healing our relationships and changing and growing. As we keep taking steps forward in obedience, we keep seeing just a bit clearer than we did before.

 

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Our New Blessings ~ by Heidi Harris

HarrisbirdsI remember early on when I was first introduced to Lifestyle of Learning™, I heard a testimony discussing pets. I was hearing that as a parent, I should lay down my selfish reasons to NOT want to have pets. I was a parent who often severely limited my kids interests because it wasn’t convenient for me or I wasn’t willing to take the time to teach them the responsibility behind that interest, etc. This particular discussion really impacted my life!

I’m not sure how I previously expected my kids to ever really mature in things. I guess I thought that time would just teach them what they needed to know. I guess I thought this even though I knew that didn’t work well for me when I was growing up.

At the time I was feeling like a failure that my oldest (16) was lacking in several character traits that I had failed to teach her and thought it was just because I hadn’t found that right curriculum yet.

When I first heard this discussion about pets, I felt convicted and it wasn’t too long after that time when 2 of my kids began really talking about wanting pets (birds for one, cat for the other). I didn’t really know what to do about it since I was so new to Lifestyle of Learning™, but for the first time in my parenting I didn’t say an automatic “No”. I just said that we could definitely talk about it.

We went to the library and got some books. The kids studied the animals and studied how to take care of them for several months. Their interests were not fading away, but in fact, only increasing!

My 11 yr old ‘interviewed’ other bird owners and gathered their input and suggestions. Through this process, she narrowed down which bird she thought would work best in our family and which type she would enjoy having the most. My 8 yr old volunteered to clean out the litter box at her Grandmother’s house when we would go there for our weekly visit. They were each preparing and developing in responsibilities (like vacuuming, picking up toys, etc.) that would be needed for when the time would come that they could have a pet.

So, we recently added parakeets (for my 11 yr old) and a kitten (for my 8 yr old) into our family!

HarriskittyI am so thrilled that those old days of my selfish relating are fading away! I know that I NEVER would have allowed my kids to have these pets if it wasn’t for Lifestyle of Learning™!  I am SOOO thankful! I am seeing new things in my kids that I never would have gotten to experience! These animals are so precious, and I know that I wouldn’t be able to open my heart to them if I hadn’t been able to open up my heart to my kids in this area. I still have so much to learn and so many areas to grow, but I am thankful to be able to begin to grow good fruit in our relationships for these smaller changes.

I KNOW how I would have been with these animals before. It’s still very fresh to me. I know that I never would have gotten the animals in the first place, and IF I happened to, I would have used it as a point to always bring a rebuke. “You haven’t fed the kitty today…this is why I didn’t want to get one. I am always having to clean up things that nobody else wants to do any more because of these animals!” etc. All my responses would have been very ME focused.

I didn’t see how laying that down and picking up their interests could have positive results. It just didn’t seem possible with my old understanding and relating. I said “Yes” to the animals because I knew in my heart it was right, while at the same time not really knowing how or when this was going to all work out. So I am THE FIRST ONE who was surprised to realize how sweet it is!!!

I really believe that the Lord’s hand is involved with these birds and kitten because we sort of expected the cat to eat the birds in the first day! Or at least we recognized it as a potential concern. We had the birds for a month before getting the kitten, so we had time to enjoy the birds and enjoy my daughter enjoying the birds.

When we got the kitten, IN THE PAST, I know that my other daughter’s interest would be pushed to the side for the sake of my feelings. If the kitten tried to attack the birds, we would have blamed our daughter, though we wouldn’t have seen it that way. Instead of doing those things, we talked about helping the kitten to know that the birds were friends and not food, and that she would need to be gently taught and trained just like we are (well…the new us).

We talked about how we have so much room in our hearts to not only care about the things we care about but to also to care about the things our loved ones care about.  We’ve started to focus on each daughter’s concerns as if they were our own. They have begun to take on each other’s concerns little by little, and we are continuing to work on that slow by slow.

Yesterday we left to go run an errand, and we realized that the bird cage was left out where the kitten could get to it without being supervised. We still want to watch and make sure that we can trust the kitten completely before we leave for hours on end. So, we ran back to check to see and make sure the door to the bird room was closed. Everything was okay, and I know this meant a lot to my daughter.

In the past, I wouldn’t have taken the time to detour from my errands to be concerned about her concern of the birds. I would have lectured her on being responsible and this is why you have to do blah blah blah. I would have told her that if the cat ate the bird, it was one of those consequences.

I am so glad to have a NEW way! I still have areas in my process of learning to love that I don’t see how it’s all going to work, but things like this just increase my faith to continue to believe that ONE day I will be able to connect dots that I wasn’t able to see as being connected while walking it out on a daily basis.

WE love our new animals! I REALLY AM SO THRILLED that we have these new pets. They are such a blessing, and I have Barbie and Marilyn of Lifestyle of Learning™ Ministries to thank profusely!

~ Heidi Harris

[My story continues here]

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Are You Rushing in Where Angels Fear to Tread?

LovesActionsAudio1Do you know how your children can contribute to their education? Many moms don’t consider that their children have something to offer their own learning process, but they do in many ways! Each of your children have very significant (and wise) contributions to make to their individual learning process, but they want and need their concerns and ideas to be listened to.

Instead of listening, moms have a tendency to “rush in where angels fear to tread” and mess with their children’s young attempts at their own learning activities. I’ve seen many moms try to “schoolish-up” their children’s play or play-writing efforts before trust is in place in their relationship. I hope you don’t do this, but if you do, I’d like to encourage you to guard and protect your children’s immature attempts to learn so they can practice building on their own efforts to move their learning process (education) forward. When you protect the ownership of each child’s learning process, trust is built with them, and they’ll want to receive your influence for how to improve on their work.

There are numerous decisions you’ll need to make about your children’s educational activities, and if you begin with trust-building by listening to them, getting to know them, and understanding them, they’ll continue to receive from you—all because they will feel loved. Building trust with your kiddos is one of Christ’s ways of loving them. I know many moms who are starting over with their children by building trust with them and reaping a good reward of positive influence.

I hope you’ll join them by putting a stop to “rushing in where angels fear to tread” and learn the constraining ways of God’s love for your precious kiddos. That’s why we’ve created the Love’s Actions Seminar series. Here’s a mom who really enjoys the Love’s Actions Seminars and listens to them over and over.

NancyB“I think the Love’s Actions audios are such a wonderful compliment to Empowering the Transfer of Moral Value and Faith. They helped me see many of my own particular unloving behaviors the Lord wanted to help me with. I continue to re-listen to them, gaining more and more each time. The Making Heart-Level Connections mini coaching programs are also a wonderful resource for continuing to go deeper with the heart-level work the Lord wants to do in us. All these resources have been a true benefit to me. My husband and I just finished reading together this morning the transcript for the Love’s Actions Seminar ‘Kindness’! It’s SO good! I feel the same way about each of the Love’s Actions Seminars! These days I am listening to ‘Patience’ in the car when I am out and about! I remember when I first heard the seminar on ‘Patience’, I was so amazed at how much more there was to a word I thought I knew in the past. I had always thought I was patient. People had told me I was patient, but I learned that I was mistaken. I learned that being patient is much more active. I mistook passiveness as patience. There is so much more to all the Love’s Actions than I’ve ever known before.” ~ Nancy B

“I agree with you Nancy, the Love’s Actions Seminar audios are fabulous! I just finished listening (again) to Love’s Actions Seminar on ‘Kindness’. It was so encouraging and convicting; wonderfully practical. ~ Catherine D

Are you ready to make loving actions your new goal so your children can learn to trust your expectations of them?

Love’s Actions Seminars can help you get started in learning how to love. These 13 1-hour seminars are a great practical accompaniment to my ebook, Empowering the Transfer of Moral Values and Faith and it’s companion, Love’s Actions.

If you haven’t gotten our complimentary audios discussing the content of the Love’s Actions Seminars, you can access them by signing up below.

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Have Your Academic Expectations Broken Trust with Your Children?

Empowering the Transfer of Moral Values and FaithJulie had broken trust with her daughter concerning academic expectations, but as Julie learned how to love her with Christlike love, her daughter came to embrace and enjoy the writing disciplines that she had resisted for years. Educating her daughter became easier and very efficient because of love.

Julie’s Story of academic breakthroughs because of love

“It has been an amazing and wonderful transformation as we have implemented the Lord’s ways and sought to foster an individualized, whole person education for our children. I am still dumbfounded that my now 17-yr-old daughter writes prolifically and speaks of getting published. This is so shocking because I could not get her to produce so much as a paragraph without a process like pulling teeth as late as 13-14 years old!

My poor little girl! Because I was not relating rightly with her and because of her perfectionism, writing soon evolved into a great struggle. Even when I was really trying to be encouraging and correct lovingly, she saw any editing on my part or suggestion toward making it better as criticism and she rose up against me mightily. She resisted any writing assignment at all with angry outbursts and excuses to delay it until I gave up. It was so emotional and difficult I began to avoid writing instruction with her, and I felt very guilty about that!

It was around the time she was 13-14 that I was looking into Lifestyle of Learning™, I was drawn to it because of it’s messages about restoring relationships. I was very concerned about my relationship with my daughter while a friend of mine was having her family relationships transformed through the Lifestyle of Learning™ ministry. At the time I was only interested in ‘fixing’ my relationships, so I thought I could kind of add Lifestyle of Learning™ educational principles to the side of my already established idea of what makes a good education.

As I began to learn how to obey the Lord in my relationship with my daughter, He directed me to let go of formal academics for a time while I concentrated on transforming our relationship through learning how to truly love her. I encouraged productive activity by requiring her to pursue her interests during the hours in which we were no longer doing schoolwork.

During this spare time she began writing at the computer. She kept her writing strictly private at first, because she didn’t trust me. She was afraid, because of her past experience with me, that I would take it over. I was positive and encouraging as I peeked in on what she was doing. I did not press for more information than she wished to give about content.

One day, I found a page by the printer when I was sorting papers, and believing it to be a favorite passage from a book she had typed out, I asked what book it was from. To my surprise, she told me it was one of hers! I was impressed with the story and told her so. She looked so happy and from that point on she began to open up and share with me.

When I began loving her and allowing her delights to emerge, and I stopped squelching them by trying to take them over and make them schoolish, she exploded with inner drive to improve and educate herself! Hee hee!—I still laugh for joy over this! I have been shown by this example, as well as MANY others, that the Lifestyle of Learning™ Approach to home education is FAR superior to any curriculum I have ever seen and tried or even could have wished for my children!” ~ Julie M

Have Your Academic Expectations Broken Trust with Your Children?

I have witnessed so many moms experience broken trust with their children. Kids don’t want to do their irrelevant assignments, or they hide out in their own thoughts and activities not wanting mom to see for fear she will swoop in and mess with it. Moms think it’s because there’s something wrong with their kids, but in actuality, learning processes are supposed to be relational, and the way moms go about causing their children’s education often removes the relational dimension from the process. Kids don’t feel understood, and they don’t feel known and loved. They want and need this daily ministry to their souls more than anything, but it begins with mom.

LovesActionsAudio1As Julie learned how to love, by first engaging with her daughter right where she was at in her abilities and interests, and allowing her to experiment with her own writing process, God gave her wisdom for placing appropriate expectations on her academic performance. He wants to give you wisdom too.

I love how her story turned out, and I want you to enter a similar process of allowing God to gently lead you in how to engage your children in their academic activities so you can enjoy “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” with your children.That’s why we’ve created the Love’s Actions Seminars, given by Barbie Poling.

These 13 1-hour seminars are a great practical accompaniment to my book, Empowering the Transfer of Moral Values and Faith and it’s companion, Love’s Actions. Hurry while you still have time to get these seminars at really good prices!

If you haven’t gotten our complimentary audios discussing the content of the Love’s Actions Seminars, you can access them by signing up below.

Click here to continue reading this discussion about loving with Christlike love.

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Eliminate Your Children’s Resistance Toward Learning

CoachingMichelleGMichelle has a testimony about love that led to breaking through her son’s resistance toward learning. I was so blessed to witness up close Michelle’s story as she was going through it in real time with her son, learning how to love him so she could draw him into a desire to learn. I really want you to hear her story too.

Michelle’s Story — She learned how to love her son, and his whole attitude toward learning changed!

“When I brought my son home from public school, he hated writing! He grew to hate it because he was forced to compose and scribe paragraphs for years in school, even though writing was physically painful for him. Once I started homeschooling, I had a difficult time having him write even short sentences. He would resist and complain about our daily writing time, and sometimes scream and throw temper tantrums. My efforts to do school at home were only continuing to lead him toward a hatred of writing.

I had heard that there were many Lifestyle of Learning™ kids who wanted to write, and were improving their writing skills in a natural, self-directed way. I thought, “Well, that won’t be my son!” I worried that I wouldn’t be able to teach him writing, typing or grammar because he hated it so much, and I thought there was NO WAY he would learn it on his own.

Following Lifestyle of Learning™ principles, we began to improve the learning value of our lifestyle by cutting back on passive entertainment, staying home more, and really focusing on improving our family relationships.  To my shock and surprise, after joining the Lifestyle of Learning™ Association of Christian Home Educators (LOLACHE) my son began to want to respond in writing to posts on the LOLACHE Kids Blog. He started typing one word answers in the forum ON HIS OWN! Then he expanded to a few words with punctuation. Together we corrected the grammar in his short self-directed posts.

After much improvement in the relationships in our home, I had begun to slowly require him to write small bits of information in his notebook we put together with pictures of his dearly loved stuffed animal collection. One day out of the blue, he asked if he could start his own blog to document his stuffed animal collection, because he said he didn’t have enough space in his notebook to say all he wanted to say about them! I was very excited!

Once he started his blog, I realized this self-initiated writing about his interests that I validated was our platform for learning spelling, grammar and punctuation all in a natural way! My son’s need to write was coming from inside him, and he wanted to do it! Now he types out his own ideas for his blog or the LOLACHE Kids Forum, and then we proofread it together. It is thrilling to see how HE is moving his education forward, when I first thought there was no way he ever would! It was through my learning how to love my children, which improved our family relationships that my son began to desire to learn! ~ Michelle G

DWritingDo You Struggle with Your Children’s Resistance toward Learning?

So many moms are experiencing a similar struggle with their children’s resistance toward the learning disciplines they need in order to become educated. Children want to feel loved and understood more than anything. Michelle learned how to love, and as she did, God gave her wisdom for placing appropriate expectations on her son, which was far different from the wrong expectations she had been accustomed to, and which he was struggling against. Once he began to trust her, his heart began to open to receive her God-given wise and appropriate expectations for his education. Her relationship with her son continues to get better all the time.

Ready to Make Loving Actions Your Goal? — and eliminate your children’s resistance toward learning?

Are you ready to make loving actions your new goal so your family notices change in you? You too can eliminate your children’s resistance toward learning like Michelle did. When your children feel loved they will respond to your wise influence. Learning how to love gives you wisdom for how to influence your children with appropriate expectations.

The New Testament is packed full of commands and suggestions for how to live in right relationship with others as we submit our hearts to Christ. Yet so many moms tell us that in all of their years going to church they’ve never heard teachings about HOW to love. That’s why we’ve created the Love’s Actions Seminars, given by Barbie Poling. These 1-hour seminars are a great supplement to my book, Empowering the Transfer of Moral Values and Faith and it’s companion, Love’s Actions

You can listen to a free audio talking about how the Love’s Actions Seminars creation came about, along with an example of the sorts of things you will hear in the seminars. Sign up for the audio below.

Click here to continue reading more discussion about our need to love like Jesus.

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Do You Know the Real Goal?

Screen shot 2014-06-22 at 11.08.45 AMI was with a few Christian people recently, and I came away with the strong impression that they believe that going to church and evangelizing is the goal and the focus of the Christian life. They talked about these two activities a lot, and implied repeatedly through their conversation that a person is a successful Christian if they continue to be church attendees and aggressively evangelize.

I was with another group of people a few weeks ago who left me with the very strong and aggressive statement that the goal of the Christian life is to read, study, and memorize the Bible, and to live by their interpretation of it. They made strong statements against people who did not live their lives the way they did, and they implied that their children will not be successful if they do not memorize large portions of Scripture, and spend significant time reading and studying the Bible.

As I visited with these groups of people, I certainly didn’t experience love coming from them, nor did I see evidence of the sweet and close relationships between their family members that come from self-sacrificial love. The way they spoke about their family relationships, and what I observed in their family relationships showed quite the opposite. I witnessed and heard about lots of sadness, emotional distance, insecurity and even irritation and anger between the family members. I could see that these Christians were mistaken about the goal of the Christian life, and what defines a successful Christian life.

Do you really know what is the goal for the Christian life? The Apostle Paul, who spent his life leading people to the Lord and forming church communities said this in 1 Timothy 1:5, “The object and purpose of our instruction and charge is love, which springs from a pure heart and a good (clear) conscience and sincere (unfeigned) faith.” The goal of the Christian life according to the Apostle Paul is to love, and to instruct people in how to love. Love is the key, love is the goal, love is the focus of the Christian life.

So what does self-sacrificial love look like? This is the question we examine in Love’s Actions Seminar messages.

Each audio is around an hour long, and includes a transcript. Each Love’s Actions Seminar, has a thorough explanation and discussion of one of love’s actions taken from Scripture, such as patience, faithfulness, kindness, and so on. I provide an expanded definition taken from the dictionary, and use many clear illustrations of what a particular love’s action would look like worked out in your family relationships. Each seminar concludes with how God expresses that particular love’s action toward us.

It’s my hope to bring conviction to your heart and inspiration for taking positive love actions toward your family. I want you to hear from a couple of moms who’ve been through the seminars.

Their Families Notice the Change! 

“The Love’s Actions seminars have been transformational for me. My husband and children have been telling me what a difference they see in me. Thank you Barbie for making them available. I cannot wait to hear the next one as well as read and highlight the transcript!” ~ Sharyn K

LovesActionsAudio1“The first thing that comes to mind about all the Love’s Actions audios is the detailed definition of the words you talk about. Many of those words I haven’t specifically looked up in the dictionary myself, and the meanings are always surprising to me in some way. The most recent example is the connection between Grace and Gratitude. It made so much sense that both are gifts from God, but I hadn’t thought of it that way before.” ~ Yolanda H

“Barbie, I’m listening to the Love’s Actions seminars, starting with the few that I’m familiar with and making my way through them all. I wanted to say thank you for all of them! I started with “patience” and it was just what I needed to hear that day. They have been such a blessing to me, helping me to know what to stop doing and what to start doing to actually practice that particular love’s action. It helps me to train my children in love, helping them identify what isn’t loving as well as the particular actions needed to be kind, patient, etc. in that particular situation. I don’t want to say “be kind” without ever walking in kindness myself, or without knowing how to help them! I’m so grateful to the Lord for helping me see myself more clearly and helping me to help the children. I’m grateful for His faithful help and sure way.” ~ Angie E

Are You Ready to Make Love Your Goal?

Are you ready to make love your goal so your family notices change in you and will respond to your influence? Love’s Actions Seminars can help you get started in learning HOW to love with Christlike love.

You can listen to a free audio talking about how the Love’s Actions Seminars creation came about, along with an example of the sorts of things you will hear in the seminars. Sign up for the audio below.

Click here to continue reading more testimonies and more discussion about our need to love like Jesus.

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Are You Focusing on What Really Matters?

SONY DSCI’m so grateful to Marilyn Howshall who came to my house and showed me very specifically how to love my alzheimer’s inflicted mom with Christlike love! (read the blog post about it here)

She pointed me toward listening to the Holy Spirit speaking through my conscience, and as I obeyed, I became changed; I became transformed! (read the blog post about it here)

Over time, I began to see how my children and husband needed to truly love and serve each other with Christlike sacrifice. Because I was changing, I could more clearly see how they needed to change as well. The entire culture and atmosphere of our home and family life changed as we began to focus our daily efforts toward what really matters.

It’s so common for homeschooling parents to get sidetracked into behaving as though what really matters most is getting the school work done. That’s what I used to do too. Yes, some of us have added some sort of devotions or Bible curriculum to our school day, but for the most part, the focus of the day for mom is getting school assignments finished. What really matters in your home? Can you tell by your focus and time spent?

As I was working on the Love’s Actions Seminar audios, my hope has been for you to receive specific and practical instruction toward a changed life, so that you can move your family toward becoming overflowing with Christlike love. I want you to become a family who focuses on what really matters!

In each Love’s Actions Seminar, I bring to you a thorough explanation and discussion of one of love’s actions taken from Scripture, such as patience, faithfulness, kindness, and so on. I provide an expanded definition taken from the dictionary, and use many clear illustrations of what a particular love’s action would look like worked out in your family relationships—with your spouse, with your children, and in relationship between siblings. Each seminar concludes with how God expresses that particular love’s action toward us.

It’s my hope to bring conviction to your heart and inspiration for taking positive love actions toward your family. I want you to hear from a couple of moms who’ve been through the seminars.

Love’s Actions Seminars Are Life Changing! 

CoachingBlogMichelleH“I am learning from the Love’s Actions audios how much more there is to loving my family than I ever have known before. I am so blessed by Barbie’s messages that are so real and specific, not theory. They are so life changing. This is real education in the things that really matter. Each time I listen to one, I see how far away from loving I have been, and it grieves me so much. Yet, I am filled with so much joy and hope because Barbie tells not only what we are to stop doing, but what we should start doing instead. They are so specific and practical. There is life and hope here. Don’t miss it! Thank you so much, Barbie!” ~ Michelle H

coachingLisa“After completing the Making Heart-Level Connections Coaching Programs, I found that I had gained understanding about how to cooperate with the Lord in loving my family, but I didn’t know what true love really looked like in every day life. Love’s Actions Seminars were the perfect follow-up. Barbie explained with many examples what love looks like in relationships between spouses, between siblings and between parents and their children. She also uses many Scriptures and definitions to teach what the specific Love’s Action is all about. I have been able to cooperate more fully with what the Lord is doing in my life, because I have been able to stop unloving behaviors, and start relating with my family in truly loving ways that are flowing from the Lord. I have been able to put to death my selfish ways and respond to meet the true needs of my family. I am truly grateful for this ministry and teaching.” ~ Lisa C

Are You Ready to Turn toward What Really Matters?

Is your family environment overflowing with love? Do your children love to serve and give to one another, and just enjoy being together? If you could use some help to turn your focus toward the activity that really matters, Love’s Actions Seminars can help you.

You can listen to a free audio talking about how the Love’s Actions Seminars creation came about, along with an example of the sorts of things you will hear in the seminars. Sign up for the audio below.

Click here to continue reading more discussion about our need to love like Jesus.

Posted in Posts by BARBIE POLING | Leave a comment

I Needed Help to Know How to Change

P1000494When Marilyn began to show me specific and practical ways to love my family, as I mentioned in my last blog post, I became transformed.

I wasn’t just receiving information about love, but specific and practical instruction and correction that allowed me to know HOW to change. As I began to obey the Holy Spirit’s conviction through my conscience, my attitudes, intentions and motivations began to change, which in turn changed my actions toward my family.

My family experienced me being different than I was before. As I began to be transformed, I was able to help my children in the same way. Instead of gaining some interesting information, we were changed. We were transformed.

As I prepared and worked on the Lifestyle of Learning™ Love’s Actions Seminars, my goal was to point you toward cooperating with the Holy Spirit’s work in you toward learning HOW to love much and love well so your life can change too.

The instruction and correction within the audios can clearly show you the way forward. You become aware of what you need to stop doing in your relationships, and what you need to start doing in order to begin have Jesus’ kind of love’s actions as your habitual way of relating. When your relational habits are being changed, you will become transformed into Christlikeness, and your family will notice and be changed.

It’s my hope to bring conviction to your heart and inspiration for taking positive love actions toward your family. As God makes you into the loving parent He wants you to be, Lifestyle of Learning™ will work for you just as it does for me and many other moms who’ve been making these same changes. I want you to hear from a couple of moms who’ve been through the seminars.

Love’s Actions Seminars Bring Transformational Change! 

“Last night I listened to the Love’s Actions audio on “patience”. It was exactly what I needed. You described, ‘Pressing in to the relationship while calmly and lovingly telling the truth’. That’s exactly what I was trying to understand when trying to see my disconnect between correcting my children and rightly relating with them at the same time. I just couldn’t connect the two. All of the examples were soooo helpful. I have already been much more liberated this morning and now I am so excited for what the Lord will do. Thank you Barbie!” ~ Becky P

LovesActionsAudio1“Barbie, the practical definition of patience and the actions to start and stop really hit home for me. Then your description of what it looks like in each relationship helps pull it all together. You are teaching these Scriptures as I have never heard before. It is so clear. I love the way you teach, Barbie. It’s like the truth slips into my heart and the Lord works it into my life personally. You speak tenderly yet boldly, lovingly yet causing conviction. I was taking notes, but had to stop so I could listen more intently. I’m looking forward to hearing this message again and again. Thank you.” ~ Carlise S

Are You Ready for Change?

Do you need some more understanding of what Christlike love looks like so you can change the way you treat your family and then help them to change too? Love’s Actions Seminars can help you.

You can listen to a free audio talking about how the Love’s Actions Seminars creation came about, along with an example of the sorts of things you will hear in the seminars. Sign up for the audio below.

Click here to continue reading more of my story and more discussion about our need to love like Jesus.

Posted in Posts by BARBIE POLING | Leave a comment

Does Being Specific Help You?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI remember thinking of myself as a generally loving person for most of my life. After all, I was nice to people in my neighborhood and at church. I made sure to try to avoid conflict, and our family generally minded our own business. I couldn’t really think of any way I was being unloving, and so I assumed I was loving.

I remember when Marilyn Howshall, Lifestyle of Learning’s™ author, came over to my house to help me with my mom who had advanced Alzheimer’s disease. As Marilyn spent time with my mom and me, she started to gently show me particular ways I was not loving my mom. She came in and started talking and praying with my mom, looking in her eyes, smiling at her, holding her hand, and sweetly having the round and round conversation that is typical when someone has only a 15-second memory.

Marilyn showed me specific things to stop doing. I needed to stop emotionally ignoring my mom, and stop leaving her in her isolated turned-in state. She also showed me things I should start doing to love my mom—hold her hand, look in her eyes, smile at her, and talk and pray with her. This very specific instruction about love’s actions really helped me to begin to see other ways I was failing to love my mom, my children and my husband. I had not thought of my previous behavior toward my mom as being unloving. It was just the way things were between us. As I obeyed the Lord’s instruction, changes began to happen. My story became a powerful testimony of God’s intervention in my family’s life and relationships, including numerous miracles surrounding my mom’s condition. My story is recorded in the book, Empowering the Transfer of Moral Values and Faith, and the Remembering Ellen audios.

In the Lifestyle of Learning™ Love’s Actions Seminars, I seek to give the same sort of specific instruction about what love looks like, so that you can be launched into action in your own relationships. You can take action to stop some behaviors, and take action toward picking up new loving relational habits.

Each of the Love’s Actions Seminar audios is around an hour long, and includes a transcript for those who prefer to read, or read along. In each Love’s Actions Seminar, I bring to you a thorough explanation and discussion of one of love’s actions taken from Scripture, such as patience, faithfulness, kindness, and so on. I provide an expanded definition taken from the dictionary, and use many clear illustrations of what a particular love’s action would look like worked out in your family relationships—with your spouse, with your children, and in relationship between siblings.

Each seminar concludes with how God expresses that particular love’s action toward us. It’s my hope to bring conviction to your heart and inspiration for taking positive love actions toward your family. I want you to hear from a couple of the moms who’ve been through the seminars.

Love’s Actions Seminars Are Very Specific! 

MHLCwholeSet“The Love’s Actions audios have been such a help in showing me what love looks like. In the past I had not given thought to the particulars of how to love and what the particulars of my sin were. I had always thought of sin and of love in general terms until coming into contact with the Lifestyle of Learning™ Ministry. I enjoy the Love’s Actions so much that I have listened to the audios, I have read the transcripts and I have listened to the audios while reading the transcripts at the same time, and each time I glean something new. It is so helpful to learn the definition of a particular Love’s Action word and then go further in examining the specifics of what to stop doing and the specifics of what to start doing in my relationships. I like that each audio covers the marriage relationship, the parent-child relationships and the sibling relationships. Each audio gives much help for the whole family. I have found that the Love’s Actions is a wonderful compliment to Lifestyle of Learning’s™ “Making Heart-Level Connections” coaching programs.” ~ Nancy B

“I’m excited! I have found the Love’s Actions audios so helpful! It’s like I’m a little child, needing to have the essential truths spelled out for me, and when they are, I can take them and run with it! When people ask me where I’ve been because they haven’t seen me in a while, I tell them I’m too busy re-educating myself on what it means to love. And what a glorious answer it is! Our family is so changed!”  ~ Ellen B

Do You Need Specific Actions Spelled Out?

If you’re like Ellen and Nancy, you could use some specific actions spelled that will carry you beyond what you already know and practice about love in general terms. AND if you’ve been stopping some of your unloving behaviors in response to the Holy Spirit’s conviction to your conscience, but you don’t yet know the specifics of what to do instead, you can get started right away toward saturating your mind and soul with these powerful and practical words of truth in HOW to love.

You can listen to a free audio talking about how the Love’s Actions Seminars creation came about, along with an example of the sorts of things you will hear in the seminars. Sign up for the audio below.

Click here to continue reading more about me and my mom and more discussion about our need to love like Jesus.

Posted in Posts by BARBIE POLING | Leave a comment

Do You Know What Love Looks Like? I Didn’t!

KidsAs I was sitting in a church service while visiting some friends out of town, I heard it being said that the primary actions of love are to have a smile for most everyone, and to be a generally encouraging person.

I remember thinking that it would be very easy to think of myself as being loving if this was my only idea of what a loving person does. Through my growing up, I was impressed with a similar idea that the primary actions of love are to be nice, avoid conflict, mind your own business, quietly and temporarily tolerate annoying people, and perhaps occasionally do a random act of kindness for a stranger. This definition of the actions of love would leave almost all of us believing in error that we are loving.

I have found that many believers have been taught the same idea of what love’s actions look like. I’d like to show you why we need to move beyond this common anemic idea, AND I’d like to help you move into experiencing God’s definition of love in your family.

So many times I hear parents saying they aren’t actually sure what love looks like in their everyday life with their families. They’re pretty sure that some of what they experienced growing up wasn’t loving, and they want to be loving parents, but they don’t really know what it’s supposed to look like. Do you know what loving actions actually look like?

We know from Scripture that love is the key, love is the focus, and love is the goal of the Christian life. In 1 John we read that He who does not love does not know God, for God IS love. God is loving all the time and in every way, and He calls us to be loving just like He is.

Learning to love much and well

In reality, your actions of love or of unlove are displayed in how you relate with those that are closest to you. In order for you to BE loving, love’s actions need to be evident in your thoughts, motivations, intentions, and your relational habits.

The goal of the Christian life is to become Christlike, where your relational actions are self-sacrificially loving like Jesus. Jesus’ kind of love is beyond simple familial love, or general niceness, or being a helpful encouraging person.

Moms who are just coming to the Lifestyle of Learning™ message are faced with the idea that they need to learn how to love much and love well, but they find themselves not knowing what self-sacrificial love looks like. This is the question we examine in the Love’s Actions Seminar messages.

In each Love’s Actions Seminar, I bring to you a thorough explanation and discussion of one of love’s actions taken from Scripture, such as patience, faithfulness, kindness, and so on. I provide an expanded definition taken from the dictionary, and use many clear illustrations of what a particular love’s action would look like worked out in your family relationships—with your spouse, with your children, and in relationship between siblings.

Each seminar concludes with how God expresses that particular love’s action toward us. It’s my hope to bring conviction to your heart and inspiration for taking positive love actions toward your family. As God corrects and instructs you toward becoming the loving parent He wants you to be, Lifestyle of Learning™ will work for you just as it does for me and many other moms who’ve been making these same changes. I want you to hear from a couple of moms who’ve listened to the seminars.

Love’s Actions Seminars Show You What Love Looks Like! 

“Listening to even one of the Love’s Actions audios will enrich your walk with the Lord and open up your eyes to see the ways of Jesus walked out in everyday situations down to the finest detail with your children and spouse, and also between you and the Lord. Barbie brings a copious amount of practicality filled with examples in a very clear and precise manner to illustrate every point made in her presentation. Once you have listened to one audio, you will not want to miss out on hearing all the rest of them. These audios are not something you want to pass up!” ~ Carolyn J

“I have really loved listening, and re-listening to the Love’s Actions audios. Everything I have ever read or listened to from Lifestyle of Learning™ has been so encouraging, inspiring, challenging and life-changing. I particularly like the Love’s Actions audios as they are practically teaching me what love looks like, and how to love. In the “Your Conscience” mini coaching program I learned how the Holy Spirit speaks through my conscience to correct and instruct me. I believe God is using the teachings from Love’s Actions to show me what love looks like in the real moments of my day. I still have a ways to go to be able to love much and love well, but I cannot believe how much God has already done in my life through this ministry. Thank you Barbie for the work you have put into preparing these seminars. They are so detailed and practical. They are very, very helpful.” ~ Deb B

LovesActionsAudio1Do You Need to See What Love Looks Like?

If you’re like Deb, you could use some clear, practical examples that show you what love looks like in the real moments of your day while interacting with your children that go beyond what you already know and practice as general niceness or helpfulness. You can get started right away toward saturating your mind and soul with these powerful and practical words of truth in how to love.

You can listen to a free audio talking about how the Love’s Actions Seminars creation came about, along with an example of the sorts of things you will hear in the seminars. Sign up for the audio below.

Click here to continue reading more discussion about our need to love like Jesus.

Posted in Posts by BARBIE POLING | Leave a comment
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