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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Her Process Toward Freedom

The other day I was sitting at my computer working when I heard my daughter calling from my room with a question in her voice, “Mom? There’s a bird in your room….. ??”

She said she had gone in my room to get the Costco card, when she saw a cute little bird decoration on top of the lamp. She thought to herself, “I didn’t know Mom had a bird decoration on her lamp.” And as she was thinking that, the bird turned and looked at her. Then she realized it wasn’t a decoration after all!

I came to see what she was talking about. Sure enough, there was a little bird perched on my lamp. That little bird was in the wrong environment!

Earlier in the day, I had stepped out into the sunshine while I was talking on the phone, and the bird must have flown into my room while I left the door open to the beautiful spring air.  The bird must have thought the open door was an invitation to go in, but she found herself in a very unfamiliar and wrong place.

Perhaps you’ve come to realize that you find yourself in the wrong place. Perhaps years ago you found the open door of bringing just-like-school methods home, and the open door of embracing the same family values you saw all around you, and you flew in through them, thinking it would be nice in there.  But now, you’re thinking you’re not in the right place after all.

a golden-crowned kinglet in the wrong environment

a golden-crowned kinglet in the wrong environment

I knew I needed to help the little bird get back into the right environment and be free. The first thing I did, was close all the other doors in my room. I closed the bathroom door, and the closet door, and the bedroom door, but opened wide the sliding glass door to the freedom the bird needed. I started to hem the bird in, and narrow its options so that it couldn’t go deeper into the wrong environment.

Has the Lord been doing that for you? Have you had the feeling increasing in you that something’s not quite right, and you just can’t keep going deeper into the way you’re seeing others around you homeschooling, or deeper into the way others around you are attempting to disciple their families according to the typical church-going-family model?

Next I got closer to the bird in order to make it fly and attempt to get out. The little bird was so confused and so frightened, that it went in every which direction, but did not find the door to freedom. It flapped vigorously, trying to find a comfortable place to land, but kept coming up against the walls. Finally, it came to rest on the smoke detector.

It had exerted a lot of effort, and searched all around and come to a different part of the wrong environment. I was the one agitating it, and causing it to search for a different place, but it wasn’t finding the right place, just a different one. I agitated it again from the smoke detector, and it flew over to land on one of the ceiling fan blades. Yet another landing place that was still in the wrong environment for freedom.

How about you? Have you felt agitated, maybe even frightened, and attempted to find a different place, a different way, only to discover that you were still in the wrong environment? Have you been aware that it was God’s hand that has been agitating things, getting you to move and do something—getting you to see and feel  that you could not stay there any longer? Perhaps you haven’t seen that it’s the hand of God urging you in what’s been happening to you.

I disturbed the little bird once again from the ceiling fan. Instead of flying out to freedom, the little bird flew up into the corner of my room, and couldn’t find anything to land on. I kept moving toward her to urge her in the right direction. She finally flitted down to the floor, seeming to lack the energy to keep trying.  Now I could really help her.

Not wanting to touch her fragile frame with my big (to her) hand, I went and got a large cup. I slowly got closer and closer. She didn’t try to get away, I think she was too tired. Then I gently scooped her up into the cup and put a piece of paper over it to keep her in. She must have thought it was like a prison! The cramped quarters of the cup were way more confining than the big open room in which she was lost. Now she couldn’t go anywhere.  She flapped and fluttered against the sides of the cup, not knowing that the confines of the cup were going to take her to true freedom, and the right environment for her.

EmpowerTransfer-smallOnce I got outside with the cup, moving her in the right direction that she couldn’t find for herself, I released her into freedom in the right environment, one in which she could fly free, and be supplied with all she needed for abundant life.

So be encouraged!! If you feel like you’re being agitated and stirred up toward change, exerting lots of effort only to find you’re still in the wrong place, or if you feel like you’re just too tired to keep trying, or if you’re being confined, and pressed in, and your circumstances are closing in on you, look to the Lord. He is trying to get your attention, and help you out of being stuck in the wrong place, and take you into freedom!  Cooperate with Him, and surrender yourself to His loving hand.

Marilyn Howshall’s book, Empowering the Transfer of Moral Values and Faith can help you begin to understand what the Lord is wanting to do in your life to get you moving and set you free!

~ Barbie Poling

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Lifestyle of Learning Kids Are Creative

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Taking Up the Armor of God

Hello Friends,

Purple Gauntlet ~ lacy ruffle, edged w/pearl beads

My sister knitted me a beautiful pair of purple gauntlets, an ancient name given to our modern, fingerless fashion gloves. I love wearing glove-type warm covering that also keeps my fingers free to do tasks, but since I really didn’t know what a gauntlet was, except for a vague idea of armor, I decided to do a bit of research.

A gauntlet is a protective glove used as a form of armor, like a large iron glove that has small plates covering the fingers to protect the hand, formerly worn by cavaliers. There have been various protective gloves used down through the ages, especially in industry; even my husband has his own leather gloves he used to wear for welding that go up past his wrists.

To “toss the gauntlet down” meant that you were presenting an open challenge to another, and to “take up the gauntlet” meant that you were accepting the challenge. Living the Christian life in service to God means that we are continually in need of protective armor so we can be ready for every spiritual challenge we face. Just like “taking up the gauntlet”, we’re actually supposed to be “taking up the whole armor of God” and standing ready for battle. I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul’s strong exhortation to the church about putting on the whole armor of God.

Gauntlet w/Thumb & Buttons ~ an earlier pair from my sister

Purchased Fingerless Gloves ~ for everyday coming and going

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” ~ Ephesians 6:10-13 (NKJ)

Thumb Slit Glove ~ wear doing computer work

“Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil…13) Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].” ~ Ephesians 6:11; 13 (TAB)

Knitted Flower w/Thumb ~ cute for everyday going about

Due to my line of work, my spiritual battles have been many and I continue to fight them in grace and with resolve as long as the Lord gives me breath. I’m experiencing a tremendous challenge this year to continue strengthening my spiritual armor and to increase my strategy for every spiritual battle. I plan to win more battles than I lose, receiving God’s personal promises to me. How about you? What do you want to see God do in your life this year?

Do you have wayward and distant hearts in your family? Receive a strategy from the Holy Spirit for how to regain lost influence. Do you have a detached and disinterested husband? Receive a promise and a plan from the Lord for how to reach him. Do you have a chronic health issue? Receive a plan for a healing path from the Lord and determine to walk it out with Him. Are you starting a new business? Let God be your partner in the building of it. Are you fighting the battle of what seems to be wasted years due to false standards you placed on your family? The Lord will lead you out of legalism and into His grace and truth. Our Good Lord is so personal. He gives us the steps to walk in and wants to walk with us toward solving life’s challenges. He will also provide the order for our steps. If you’d like more practical insight toward developing a faith action-plan in cooperation with God, the eArticle, Marilyn’s Blessed Assurance, will help you.

My Favorite Pair! ~ especially since my sister made them...

The condition for God to order our steps is that we must be truly righteous, for He will “order the steps of a righteous man.” Righteousness isn’t just a word, but it’s God’s way of making us right with Him and with others. Jesus made the way possible for us to have right standing with God, but there is also a process of coming into alignment with His ways. To be truly righteous simply means that you are allowing the Lord access to your heart to do the work there that He wants to do so you can make things right in your relationships. It doesn’t mean you’re all finished; it doesn’t mean you have to be perfect before God works. There is no such thing! It means your heart is open to allow His work and you cooperate with the Holy Spirit when He speaks correction and instruction to your own conscience. In other words, you’re engaged in the internal process with Him and taking the outward actions He instructs you to take daily. Then you are on HIS path and He is there with you! You’re no longer facing life’s challenges alone. He will direct you in the details of how to win your battles for His glory!

I love The Message version: A Fight to the Finish ~ “God is strong, and He wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting, you’ll still be on your feet.” ~ Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Message)

Let me leave you with this: The armor of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them so they’re transferred into your relationships, and as a result raise the quality of the moral culture of your home. Learn how to transfer truths into the fabric of your real life where they will do you the most good. This is how we “put on the whole armor of God”! Learn how to love your children and affirm their unique identities. Learn how to lay up for yourself the “testimony treasures” of God’s work in you and your family. Learn how to pray in faith adding it to your love for your family, truly believing that God will accomplish His good pleasure in you. Give Him your all and He will give you His all!

The book, Empowering the Transfer of Moral Values and Faith, was written to help you know how to align yourself correctly with the work God wants to do in you. Why not get your copy today, and while you’re at it, check out the new Lifestyle of Learning™ Association for Christian Home Educators (LOLACHE). We created it just for you so you’d have a permanent venue through which to receive regular spiritual growth and practical Lifestyle of Learning™ support for you and your family.

We hope you can join us soon, and may the Good Lord increase you this year in Christ’s spiritual abundance.

So grateful to be in the Lord’s service,

Marilyn Howshall for Lifestyle of Learning™ Ministries


[Lifestyle of Learning™/LOLACHE eNewsletter ~ Feb 8, 2012, Issue 10]

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Developing Purpose

~ From LOLACHE Newsletter, issue 5

As many of you know, Marilyn is dealing with a family emergency over these last several days, so she isn’t available to write her usual newsletter note at this time. However, she joins with me in expressing the hope that this new year finds you ready to press forward with the knowing, loving, and educating of your children!

As I went to bed the other night, I heard my 5 teenagers in the living room developing purpose. They were excitedly talking about the story line for a movie they want to make together. This delight-directed purpose will keep several of them happily and diligently focused and productively occupied for several months as they work on it together.

Their current purpose of this particular movie isn’t going to earn them a high salary, and it isn’t going to minister the gospel to a great number of people, but it is leading them toward their life purpose as they practice being purposeful. They are practicing having vision, and moving their life forward. As they press forward with this project they will have to learn and grow and increase in skill as they overcome difficulties and problems along the way and I will continue to watch over their attitudes, intentions and motivations toward Christlike Character. They are practicing living a purposeful life.

When they were younger, this purpose looked like making cardboard vending machines, and setting up a restaurant in the living room. It looked like building with LEGOs and making up stories with their Polly dolls.

I thought about how many kids their age don’t have much purpose. They don’t actually know what they want to do with their lives for the next few days let alone for the future. Their current life goals might include, get my school work done today so I can go to my friend’s, earn enough money to buy something more entertaining than the entertainment I currently have, and get done with high school so I don’t have to do this stuff anymore.

These kids will probably find jobs, they’ll probably get married and have kids, but will they have purpose that keeps them happily and diligently focused and productively occupied? Or will their lifestyle produce a life of boredom and the constant search for more self-entertainment? Will they be able to develop vision and move their lives forward? Will they be able to live a life that is bigger than the building of their own enjoyment?

As I drifted off to sleep, I was so grateful for our lifestyle of learning, so blessed to know my children are developing purpose and Christlike character, so blessed for what the Lord has put into each one of them to do. So blessed.

Marilyn has written a 12-page eArticle for new members of LOLACHE. “Your Child’s Individuality and Unique Creative Profile” will help you take a closer look at how God made your children. By tapping into their rich reservoir of God-given raw materials, your children are pre-disposed toward their purpose if they are guided to release creativity more fully.

Blessings to your family as you discover individual and family purpose,

Barbie Poling


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Consistently Loving

In last week’s blog post by Christi, speaking of  how wrong she has been in the past to spank her children with anger, she expressed an old idea she had that I find is so common among parents, especially Christian homeschooling parents.  Even when she was angry with her children and knew she shouldn’t be, she still felt compelled to do SOMETHING about their disobedience. I’ve heard many moms express this idea adding, “I know I’m not as loving as I should be yet, but I still HAVE to do SOMETHING because THEY have disobeyed.” I’ve been thinking about where this almost universal idea comes from. Certainly it is from the consensus among parenting advice and counsel that as parents we MUST be consistent.

Consistent in what?

It is true, we must be consistent, and that means we must do SOMETHING when our children disobey. However, we need to take a look at what we’re actually supposed to be consistent with, and what that SOMETHING is. Far too many parents are consistently irritated and angry, and the SOMETHING they do is speak harshly, yell, or spank in their anger. Some are consistently annoyed or even offended that their children are thwarting their own self-determined agenda, and so the SOMETHING they do is become frustrated and bitter toward their children, bathing them in disapproval and withholding affection. Some are consistently afraid of the conflict that will occur if they attempt to confront their children, so the SOMETHING they do is try to ignore and appease disobedience until they just can’t take it anymore, so they suddenly and fiercely lash out.

Spanking your children in anger, irritation, and frustration is NEVER the right thing to do. When you do, you basically are demanding that they control themselves while you yourself are out of control. It will only serve to foster in them fear and a lack of trust in you, as they learn through your spirit to be all the more out of control. There is a time for the sting of a swat in order to get their attention, but it is far less necessary than most parents think. Helping your children to understand, remember, and feel loved as you lovingly correct (tell them what they are doing wrong) and instruct them (tell them what the right thing is) is way more powerful toward encouraging them to want to obey.

Consistent in LOVE!

We ARE supposed to be consistent, but we’re supposed to be consistently LOVING, which means that the SOMETHING we need to do is to meet our children’s ACTUAL NEEDS. This is what love does; it meets true needs. Too often parents fail to realize what their children actually need when they are being disobedient, and we default to thinking that what they need is some form of punishment, and far too often the parent can only think of inflicting physical pain or causing the child to suffer some sort of unrelated loss. There are many things that children need; punishment isn’t one of them.

They need our affection, attention to their soul, understanding, concern, compassion, instruction (telling them what is the right thing to do), correction (telling them what not to do), training (repetitive correction and instruction), and wisdom. They need us to help them understand the workings of their own hearts (their attitudes, intentions, and motivations) and to compassionately lead them to overcome their own fleshly tendencies to form Christlike character.

Sometimes they need connected consequences like being unable to go off and play away from mom because they cannot be trusted as I explained in my last blog post. They sometimes need a rest or a nap, and to be at home instead of over stimulated with peers and activity.

They definitely do not need our irritation, anger, swift and sudden commands, shaming lectures, wrong expectations and angry punishment including angrily delivered spankings – although we often think they need these things so we can temporarily push them into submission, which gives us our way because we are bigger than they are.

Sometimes what your child actually needs when he is being disobedient is for you to wrap your arms around him, cuddle up on the couch, and express your love and concern and talk things through until you both have understanding. But if in your mind you think, “But that’s a reward!”, it may be because you believe that what children truly need most of all is punishment. If our children are hungry, we feed them, because food is what they need. We don’t think, “Don’t feed them because it will only reward their hunger, and we don’t want them to think that hunger is good.” And yet we think that if we give our children the love, compassion, understanding, and attention they actually need when they are being disobedient, somehow it will cause them to believe that disobedience is good.?? This is wrong thinking.

Love meets actual NEEDS.

The challenge to parent in love and help our children overcome their selfish desire to be in control, which can lead them to disobey, is a challenge to be CONSISTENT in LOVE, and to know what the SOMETHING is according to what each child actually needs at that time. In order to know what the SOMETHING is, you will need to rely on the Holy Spirit and get particular wisdom from Him for what to do.

The idea that consistency means we must win every conflict by doing SOMETHING, even if that something is an angry or violent outburst is simply wrong. Your yelling, frustration, irritation, anger and those spankings coming from being personally offended by your children are destroying your relationship with your children and hurting their hearts, and it truly would be better for you to do nothing, than to continue to consistently do that.

Even if you deliver spankings without anger, as I always did before I knew the love of the Lord, a spanking is more than likely NOT what they truly need. (Christi in her post very accurately explained when a swat may be needed in order to get their attention).

Often the Lord leads us to stop doing something before we can know what we’re supposed to do instead. So outwardly you may need a short season of doing nothing like what you usually do about your children’s disobedience, while you inwardly cry out to the Lord to know what your children actually need, and surrender willingly to sacrifice your time, your agenda, and your man-made ideas of punishment to meet your child’s true need. The SOMETHING that you need to do most of all is repent of your hurtful ways, and learn from the Lord what your children NEED so you can be consistently LOVING.

~ Barbie Poling

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