Boy-oh-boy! Raising boys is not the same as raising girls. I’ve done both. Neither is easier, just different. There’s a saying (especially among single women) that “good men are hard to find.” Moms of boys can change that. I’m so blessed that with the guidance and support of my husband and God’s grace, my son is a good man. Rhonda Stoppe will encourage you in this very important job below and in my interview with her on June 15th at 11 AM PDT on KPXQ1360.com Diane Markins
Mentoring for Moms of Boys
by Rhonda Stoppe
MOMS-IMAGINE WHAT YOUR LIFE WOULD BE LIKE IF YOU HAD YOUR OWN PERSONAL MENTOR? I wrote MOMS RAISING SONS TO BE MEN to be just that!
As a young mother, I was desperate to find someone, anyone, to teach me to be the mom I wanted to be. I cried out, “I NEED HELP, LORD!” Maybe you can identify with my struggle?
“I found my parenting overshadowed with fear of doing it wrong. I gradually developed a sort of reactionary mode-[my son] acted and I reacted. Rather than following a clear path toward shaping his life, the fear of what I did not want my son to be became my standard. I was merely putting out fires rather than kindling the flames of my son’s character…
I lacked fortitude for this new adventure [of motherhood]. I needed to become a kind, courageous, and confident mother if I was ever going to raise kind, courageous, confident children. To be a godly mother required strength. Where would I find the direction I so desperately longed for?”1 Rhonda Stoppe, Moms Raising Sons to Be Men, (Eugene, OR, Harvest House Publishers, 2013), 11-12.
The Lord answered my cry for help by sending me godly mentors. I am forever grateful to these godly women who answered the call of Titus 2. MOMS RAISING SONS TO BE MEN is filled with practical advice, and encouraging stories of moms from the Bible, from history, and present day examples to help you:
-ENHANCE YOUR PARENTING SKILLS
-IMPROVE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR SON
-STRENGTHEN YOUR ABILITY TO EXPRESS LOVE TO YOUR SON
-DECREASE CONFLICT BY LEARNING TO COMMUNICATE WITH HIM
-FIND HOPE; TO MOMS OF PRODIGALS
-COMPANION FOR SINGLE MOMS
-RESOURCE FOR MENTORING YOUNG MOMS
I look forward to visiting with Diane Markins on BOLD LIVING- to talk about my new book, and help moms become the mom they always hoped they’d be.
*Post a comment below to win a copy of MOMS RAISING SONS TO BE MEN.
“I don’t believe in God and I’m not going to church any more.” Lately I’ve heard from quite a few parents who are saddened by their adult and nearly-adult children rejecting their parents’ faith.
This can feel like a big slap in the face or it can feel like your child has contracted a serious illness…either way it’s very personal and it hurts.
As I’ve prayed about this I wanted to share the thoughts that encouraged me.
• You can give your child love and you can model a relationship with the Lord, but you can’t give your child faith. This has to be her choice.
• No matter what she says now, God isn’t finished working yet so believe Him and His ability to redeem your prodigal.
• This could be a good thing. Your child might need to step away from your faith in order to find his own.
• The world is a rough place to be without Jesus. As the pain of life unfolds, a child who’s been shown how to reach out to the Lord is likely to instinctively revert to what he’s done all his life.
• Look at this as an opportunity to model unconditional love and not judgment or preaching. It could actually create a new level of closeness between you.
• God will likely use this hurtful struggle to increase your faith. Let Him hear you pray. Let your kid see that you don’t have fear because you have faith in a God that will do much more than you could ask or imagine.
Just to be clear, there are verses in the Bible to back up each of those points so you can hold on to them as truth and inspiration.
For additional encouragement, I’ve known many parents who’ve walked this journey and have seen their kids come back to follow Christ, even into ministry. Some parents are still waiting… but what a Christian parent doesn’t do it give up hope. God promises hope and a future and doesn’t want even one son or daughter to be lost.
Do you need prayer or encouragement for your child? Let us know. Has God delivered your child back to faith? Encourage other parents in a comment below.
Many Christains are married to someone who doesn’t believe, or doesn’t incorporate faith into their life as a spouse might expect. This can be frustrating, disappointing and discouraging. This can end a marriage. But it doesn’t have to. Ministry leader Kathy Cordell shares some encouragement from her experience in the post below and in my interview with her on June 8th at 11 AM PDT (following Dr. Kevin Leman) on KPXQ1360.com. Diane Markins
The Classroom of Faith
By Kathy Cordell
Sunday morning. In church. Alone. Again.
I sighed deeply and closed my eyes. “Oh Lord, if he could only hear this message!”
How many times had I uttered this same thought, this same prayer? Yet years have passed and still I worship – alone. Does God really see me? Does He truly hear my plea?
The Lord’s answer is found in Jeremiah 33:3:
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
Of course the Great God of the Universe sees! Of course He hears! But in the midst of an as yet unanswered prayer, it is easy for mere mortals to doubt God’s promise.
I thought God must be out of His holy mind when He called me to ministry despite living in a spiritual mismatch. My husband and I were married 13 years when I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Scott suddenly found himself in a marriage he didn’t sign up for. These past 15 years have been a journey and it hasn’t been easy. But what marriage is? At times I have wrongly viewed our marriage as a prison holding me back from so many of God’s blessings. Through much prayer, I began to hear the voice of the Lord clearly: Your marriage is not a prison. It is a classroom.
Over the years, God has taught me many lessons through a most unlikely source – a spouse who does not know Him. In so many ways my husband teaches me about a world in need, about patience, pride and how to see others through the lens of God’s truth. I have learned to witness without a word at home while boldly proclaiming Christ to a hurting world. Scott and I have our struggles and my pride fights for MY rights over and over again! But then I hear the soft voice of Truth asking me to lay down my right to be right and submit to God’s will, not my own. I breathe deeply and am filled with humility.
The more I tried to change my husband, the more frustrated we both became! Scott does not want to be my project; he wants to be the desire of my heart. It is crucial to appreciate him for who he already is and not focus on who he could become if he lived up to my expectations. I pray that by honoring Scott sexually, with my words, time and actions he will be drawn closer to Jesus every day.
Learning to love like Jesus meant taking a long, hard look at ME and it has been through my own heart changes that the Lord has softened his. Even though I wasn’t always the most willing student, I’m thankful for a Teacher who is patient with me.
“He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.” (2Peter 3:9)
I’m thankful He is patient with Scott too. How can I doubt when I know God’s truth? The Savior desires my husband’s salvation even more than I do!
I wish I had some wonderful formula to share with women who understand my ache but there is no easy guide to living the gospel. When Jesus said, “Come, follow Me”, He did not then list ’10 Easy Steps to becoming more like Jesus”. However He did offer us the option for the daily unfolding of His plan and this option is prayer. An unbelieving spouse may reject all his wife’s efforts but the power of faithful prayer will always be unstoppable, even without his permission. God hears our concerns when we come to him honestly, with open hearts. Though I do pray for my husband’s salvation, my hope is rooted not in the answer to the prayer but in the One who will one day grant it.
This summer, Scott and I will celebrate 28 years of marriage. The years have passed. Still I worship. Alone or not, God is still God. And He is not only my God but he is the God of my husband. I’ll let God be God and I will learn…and love…and live in the Lord’s school of faith. Thank you Lord, for the opportunity to be your hands and feet.
*Tell us about your experiences of being “unequally yoked” (in marriage or other partnerships) in a comment below. We can learn from each other.
From the beginning of time there has been a battle raging. It is between parent and child to see who’s in charge. If your child seeems to be winning, or if you want a new kid, you will want to listen to my interview with the incomparable Dr. Kevin Leman and read tips from his new book Have a New Kid by Friday in the post below and in my visit with him on June 8th at 11 AM PDT on KPXQ1360.com. Diane Markins
Your Child is Calling the Shots
By psychologist Dr. Kevin Leman
Have you seen the toddler who cries until she wears her mother down and gets to go not only once but three times on the carousel? The defiant 16-year-old who flips off her dad for not giving her money for a movie, then demands the car keys for the evening? The 7-year-old who gives his mom the “I dare you to do anything about it” glare as he pushes the broccoli off his plate and watches it fall to the floor of the restaurant?
In today’s society, even children shorter than a yardstick are calling the shots. And then what do they become when they’re grown up? They’re part of the entitlement group – they expect anything and everything good to come their way, with no work on their part, just because they exist. And you, as their parents, are exhausted.
Internationally-known psychologist, humorist and bestselling author, Dr. Kevin Leman, has a proven plan guaranteed to help parents win the battle of wills. Dr. Leman shows how to reverse negative behavior in children – fast– in his new book, Have a New Kid by Friday.
The plan of action for the week includes:
• On Monday – Dr. Leman reveals what your kid’s life strategy really is – and why he or she continues to drive you bonkers.
• On Tuesday – Dr. Leman shares the three most important things every parent wants for their child – and how to teach them in a way the child will never forget.
• On Wednesday – He’ll help you decide who you want your child to be and what kind of parent you want to be with his time-tested “Three Simple Strategies for Success.”
• On Thursday – You will learn to identify the three pillars of true self-worth and how to develop them in your child.
• On Friday – You get to be the shrink. After reviewing the principles and action plan you’ve been developing since Monday, you will get ready to launch it upon your unsuspecting child.
Dr. Leman says, “In Have a New Kid by Friday, I’ve taken nearly four decades of marriage and parenting experience – and combined it all into one book. I’ve done this because I care about your family. I want you to experience a home where all the family members love and respect each other. Your children deserve that. You deserve that. ‘My hope is that when you finish reading this new book you will say, ‘I can’t wait for my kids to misbehave. I’m ready for them!.’”
*Post a comment about Dr. Leman, his books or your challenges with raising kids and you may win a copy of Have a New Kid by Friday.
We all share the same basic needs, but author Tim Kimmel says we have to battle an unseen enemy to have them met. Read more about these needs and how to stay in the fight in the post below and in my visit with him on June 1st at 11 AM PDT (following John Dickerson) on KPXQ1360.com. Diane Markins
Fighting for Love, Purpose and Hope
by Tim Kimmel
All people, regardless of the natural diversity that exists among the vast cultures of the world, share the same three basic inner needs. Everyone feels the need to be securely loved, to feel their life has a significant purpose and that they have a strong hope for the future. Recognizing and understanding these three inner needs are essential to good parenting and also to being better family members, spouses, co-workers and friends.
While we may not always be dialed-in on meeting our kids’ needs for security, significance and strength, there’s one person who is always working overtime to satisfy these needs…His name is Satan. He wants nothing more than to see these heart needs met with superficial, insufficient solutions that leave our kids vulnerable to his attacks. That’s why it’s vital that we harness the power of God’s grace to meet these longings with love, purpose and hope.
A Secure Love
God purposely put a void in us that needs to be filled with love so that we might see our need for Him. Every child needs to know that they are loved totally and unconditionally. They need to know that our love is fully given and that it can’t be earned or lost. When they know they are loved, they will feel secure.
A Significant Purpose
Everyone wants their life to count for something. Our sense of significance comes from knowing that what we are doing on a daily basis has a lasting and positive impact on the world. As parents, we must show our kids that they serve an important purpose in our family, their school, their church and the community.
A Strong Hope
Hope is the magic ingredient that helps you persevere and gives you that extra dose of courage when you need it. How much more so with our eternal hope in Jesus? Teaching our children about this eternal hope, through our words and actions, arms our kids with one of the greatest weapons against despair.
Is your family intimately connected to a church? If not, why? If so, how have you made it happen? Comment below to help others who want to be in a church family. (You might win a book!)
Christianity looks a lot different than it did 50 years ago. The American church is struggling to stay “in business.” Read the post below and listen to my interview with award winning author/journalist John Dickerson on June 1 at 11 AM PDT on KPXQ1360.com. Diane Markins
The Great Evangelical Recession
by John Dickerson
God gives us this wisdom in Proverbs 27:23 “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.”
In your home, marriage, career and even your physical health, it’s important to “give careful attention,” to assess how things are going. Why is this important? Because we live in a fallen world where all things naturally deteriorate. If we truly love Christ, then we will also love His bride, the Church. After all, she is His most loved and most valuable possession. But how many of us have time to “give careful attention” to how the Church is doing?
I know you don’t have time to read hundreds of reports on the U.S. Church, so I read them all for you. I used my skills as an award-winning journalist to give you a report on the health of the U.S. Church in my new book, The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors that will Crash the American Church…and How to Prepare . If you care about the health of the Church or of Christianity in the U.S., then this book is a must read for you. It’s also a great gift and tool for your pastors, elders, deacons or other spiritual leaders.
Read two free sample chapters, by clicking here, and see why experts like Cal Thomas of Fox News and USA Today are calling this “An important book which every believer should not only read, but heed.”
Do you think the American church is in trouble? Share your thoughts below.
Not all of us knows much about the lives of our ancestors, especially like the courageous tale Paul Chinikidiadi learned about one of his. Paul is a gifted wood carver who uses his talent and his story for ministry. Read one moving experience below and hear more in my interview with him on May 25th at 11 AM PDT on KPXQ1360.com. Diane Markins
By Paul Chinikidiadi
A few years ago I was speaking at a church in House, NM. I was nearing the end of my 10 week study of the carving of “The Ten Commandments”. One of the ladies of the church Sarah Hargrove came up to me after the service and said “Can you do me a favor? Could you carve out a rose for me so I can have it put on my casket?” In my carving of the 10 Commandments I have a rose carved between each of the commandments. I usually don’t accept carving requests, but in this case I said which of the roses would you like carved. She pointed to a certain one and said “I would like that one only bigger”. So I said sure, thinking I’ll do it someday when I may hear of her passing away.
Soon after that I received a call from a friend from House saying that there had been a terrible accident not far from their home. Hillous Hargrove was being transported to our Clovis hospital and would need me to pray with him because Sarah his wife had just been killed.
I carved out the special rose that Sarah had requested and laid it on the coffin. A coffin her husband had just finished building the week before. (He builds coffins for a living.) As the casket was ready to be closed her husband put “The Rose” inside to be with her.
The first song that was played at the funeral service was “Roses will Bloom Again”. Every part of this song and years of marriage are to true to Hillous and Sarah’s life together. Tears ran down my face as I listened to the words of this song.
Later I spoke with Hillous and he said he took the rose out of the casket and has it by her picture in the living room.
~Listen to the interview for more photo tips after my chat with Paul Chinikidiadi on the podcast link above.
Photos are a huge source of stress to me. This must be an inherited disorder because my mom had it too! I love looking at my pictures, but mostly they get shoved in an album or box that collects dust in the back of a closet. Even the digital photos I’ve got stored are not something I remember to look at very often.
That has changed–especially my very favorite shots– since I discovered Fabness.com. The owners, Mark and Jennifer Lander, will join me on Bold Living May 25th (following my chat with Paul Chinikidiadi) with some tips about how to maximize the enjoyment of the photos you love most.
I have always admired other people’s custom wall canvases and wanted my own, but thought they were probably really pricey so I didn’t pursue it. (I met a women at an event I spoke at recently who told me she spent $50 (with a deal coupon) on a 16″ X 20″ canvas of her family. Fabness.com is sponsoring Bold Living. So…for about $25 you can get the same thing with the code BoldLiving at checkout.) I know I can afford it now any time.
The other reason I held back was that I like to change my rooms and pictures often. With such a low price, I don’t hesitate to get rid of canvases when I have a new fav photo of my grandkids. (Keep em comin!) No guilt or money wasted.
You don’t have to be a pro photographer (although they work with pros too). Use your cell phone or disposable camera if that’s what you’ve got when the action happens.
Here are some tips for de-stressing your photo anxiety:
1. Toss duplicates/ very similar shots
2. Only keep the shots you LOVE (the kid matters, not the various clothes on the kid)
3. Store digitals on your computer and in your email folders
4. Organize your digital photos by folder
5. Schedule half hour a week to organize paper photos into albums (refer to #2)
6. Take a ton of candid shots when something fun is going on and delete all but the best few immediately
7. Stunning scenery is always picture-worthy, but lousy shots are boring. Get your face or your kids’ faces in front of that mountain and the memory is preserved without the need for super photo skills.
8. Canvases of your photos make decorating any room much more personal and creative
~Group/party shots for dorm rooms
~Photo of a hand-made quilt or sweet teddy bear gift from grandma for nursery
~Champagne glasses toasting at sunset to commemorate an anniversary (in your own hands–you were there!)
~Child in costume or with special cartoon friend for kid’s room
~Your most inspirational quote or Bible verse on a pretty background for your office
*You can have the photo wrapped all the way around the wood frame or choose a border color that ties well to your color scheme.
Don’t take photos and forget about them for future generations to discover. They are shots you took because the moment was meaningful. Access the memories from those photos frequently. It will always make you smile (and you don’t have to say “cheese”).
Share your photo tips in a comment below. I’d love to see some of your favorite and most creative photos on facebook, so post and tag Women in High Def.
*For one week only, Fabness.com is offering a 10″ X 15″ canvas for $12! The code is BoldLiving12. This stupidly cheap deal expires June 1st so jump on it!
~Listen to my interview with “Mr. David” about what goes on at My Gym and what you can do to build confidence and fitness in your kids on podcast link above. (Following the wood carving preacher and tips on maximizing your photos.)
Many fast food restaurants, shopping malls and neighborhood parks have playground equipment. So I wondered why anyone would pay to play when they can play free. That is until I went along with my daughter and 2 year-old granddaughter to My Gym. My Gym is a franchise that offers top of the line equipment, along with simple props (like hand puppets). They rearrange the room every week and bring out a variety of equipment during each hourly session.
I invited the owner of My Gym closest to us to share about what makes this a good investment of time and money for your child. David Dodge (a.k.a. Mr. David) is an interesting guy with a degree in criminal justice. He and his wife spend most of their time at this family business.
“I guess you could call this early prevention,” he joked. “The combination of structured activities and intermittent free play keeps the kids focused, entertained and active.”
Each “class” is age-appropriate and limited to a small group. Zoe’s class never has more than six kids and their moms (sometimes grandmas or dads!). They have circle time for a little singing and stretching, then free play. Big animal swings are hung, then free play. Balance beam, then free play…. you get the idea. The organized activities vary widely and each week it’s something new.
The little guys are gently taught to test their limits and be bold (LOVE THAT), so fear and timidity slowly disappears. Mr. David gives undivided attention to each child as he works with them and they gain confidence right in front of your eyes. They learn (intuitively) to share and take turns, so social skills are in the mix.
The entire experience is designed for safety and everything is sanitized daily. Whew! You won’t find sharp edges or teaming germs at this play space.
Why pay to play when you can do it free? This isn’t just playing. My Gym builds confidence, encourages exploration, teaches social skills, coordination, physical strength and agility. Those with the wallet can see this. The kids don’t think of all those adult words or the big picture concept. They will, however, beg you to go back for more fun as often as you’ll take them.
This may sound like a commercial, but I was simply that impressed. For those who don’t have a My Gym (or don’t have the funds to participate) do a little online research for an organized community program with similar structure and goals. Every kid from six months to 12 years will benefit from a wonderful program like this.
What do you do to keep your kids moving, build their confidence and strengthen social skills? All tips appreciated!
If you have doubts about women teaching or leading or their value, Carol Cook’s book Bathesheba, Bathed in Grace may clear that up. She shares stories in first person from women in the Bible. Read her lovely post below and listen to my interview with her on May 18th at 11 AM PDT (following my visit with author Kathi Lipp) on KPXQ1360.com. Diane Markins
A Little Slice of Grace
by Carol Cook
At twenty-five, I was mother to three children. I never thought about my life after they left the nest. That issue was tucked safely away…for another day…another time. It has been said, “Husbands marry their jobs, and wives marry their children.” With Jim happy and excelling in business, my children became my world. That is, until I turned forty-two. The youngest went off to Baylor, and the house fell painfully silent. I was invisible.
My life purpose and passion came to a screeching halt. I searched for meaning in my world to see it had become small. A friend invited me to lunch and a tour to a local charity. In one afternoon on their campus, my heart surged and I experienced something other than aloneness. My life was about to change.
I wrote a mission statement to help me stay focused: “To help women and children in crisis while sharing God’s love in everything I do. I would become a servant, a teacher, and friend.”
Awakened to the realization that my life experiences could have value and minister to others, I took the first steps on my journey to philanthropy and mentoring. So many opportunities outside my private world! I served on boards and volunteered at fund raising events to help create awareness of the needs of others. . Before long, I was busier than I had ever been with my children…and, fulfilled beyond measure. I was happy.
I recalled a verse from the Bible about the older women teaching the younger. Years passed. I had become an older woman! What did I have to offer? You don’t reach 48 years of marriage; have 3 grown children, in-laws, and 10 grands without a lot of challenges, successes…, and failures to share.
I looked to women from the past to mentor me. I studied about our Biblical sisters. I discovered an amazing truth: Women haven’t changed much in 6,000 + years! To my surprise and delight, my own issues of perfection, jealousy, control, unforgiveness, secrets, and victimization….were a common thread woven though out the ages in women.
I noticed two important components, in my opinion, to a fulfilled and joyous journey in life: Grace and Forgiveness.
*Share your story, encourage Carol or post a question below. You might win a copy of her book.