Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rewards and God's Word

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:17 AM 2 comments
Looking at God’s Word not only tells us that rewarding obedience is not only an essential part of parenting, but also what those rewards should focus on. There are times that God rewards us materially. He does want us to prosper in the sense that we have everything we need materially and often even more than just what we need. But He most definitely does not want our material rewards to become our focus or motivation for righteous behavior. God is much more concerned with the state of our heart and His Word talks much more about a prosperity of spirit. God rewards us with healing of body and spirit, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, joy, strength, endurance, self-control, spiritual gifts, and, of course, eternal life. This list could go on and on. It only takes a small amount of time in scripture to recognize the rewards God gives us “pressed down, shaken together and running over.”(Luke 6:38)

If God rewards us, why would we ever withhold rewards from our children? When we have an appropriate perspective on rewarding and motivating our children and what the proper rewards and incentives are, we allow ourselves to abundantly bless our children and ourselves, as we see them grow through positive interactions. There are many ways to reward our children and many different types of incentives available to motivate children. I think about my children when they were infants. As they learned to smile, to sit up, to crawl, to walk, I was there every step of the way cheering them on. A smile, a little clapping, and a big “yah!” was all they needed to encourage them to keep doing what they were doing and/or try a little harder to make that next step. Cheering our children on is a great way to motivate them. Children generally really do want to please their parents. Cheering for our children can come in many forms and will depend on your personality, your child’s personality, and the situation. Hugs, “way to go,” “I’m proud of you,” and “great job!” are all examples of ways to praise our children. It’s about encouraging them along when they’re getting it right and trying their best.

Time with our children and special treats are additional ways to reward them. We can take them on a special outing for good behavior or completed tasks over a period of time. We can let them choose a movie for the family to watch. We can let them pick what restaurant we’re going to eat at. We can buy them a small treat, or even have monetary rewards. It is all based on what works for your family and what motivates your child.

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; Deuteronomy 11:26-27

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Have you ever had one of "those days"?

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 9:40 AM 1 comments
I did the other day. And unlike many of our "those days" that mommies have, it had nothing to do with my children being uncooperative. Quite the contrary, my children were being great. I was even being organized when it came to them. We had a wonderful, fairly productive morning and prepared to be out the rest of the day. I was dropping them off with daddy at my mom's house, going to a doctor's appointment, picking up dinner, picking up the kids, and heading to church. I had allowed plenty of time (so I thought) as my doctor's appointment was at 2:30 and we didn't have to be at church until 5:45. Well, the best laid plans....

I realized half-way down the road that I didn't have my wallet. Which meant that I had to ask for money to buy supper and hoped that I didn't need my insurance card for my appointment (which I didn't, fortunately, since I'd just been there two weeks prior - and yes, mom, I was driving without my license on me.) I also realized that I'd forgotten my insulin. So only salad for me for supper. I dropped off the kids, put the baby down and set the others up on the computer so daddy could continue to get work done. I headed down the road to the doctor's (with 10 minutes to spare) and realized I'd left my phone at my mom's. Oh, well. The Dr's office had a phone I could use to order supper and let my husband know when I was leaving.

I was early to the appointment, but of course they were running late. I finally saw the first nurse who proceded to let me know the plan that would involve an extra appointment in the next month (meaning 6 appointments in 11 weeks) or trying to make it to Norfolk to deliver my baby (1 1/2 hours away on a good day, and my last labor was 2 1/2 hours - not a good idea.) Fortunately she left me in another office to wait on the next nurse. I was trying not to be upset when my resources kicked in. In the quite stillness of that small room God reminded me that He was in charge, He has given me His peace, and that I can do ANYTHING through Him.

I didn't get out of my appointment until 4:30, I got cut off trying to order supper and then couldn't get back through, my husband had been expecting me for an hour before I called because the clocks in my moms house hadn't been changed yet, and it took me nearly an hour to make my way there. So I arrived with supper when I should have been leaving. But I called and got my position at church covered, sat and ate supper with my family (and did have half a slice of pizza) and was completely okay with being late. When things are out of our control, it doesn't help to get harried or upset. Instead, as I've learned, I can be content in any situation - including when lots of little things are adding up to make one of "those days."

I was exhausted that evening and had to put the kids to bed by myself because my husband was working late due to his three hour interruption. But I tucked my healthy children into bed, sat in my comfortable recliner, ate my bedtime snack, took my insulin, and relaxed. Throughout the day that had lots of little bumps, God kept using His Word that I had taken the time previously to read and study to continuously remind me that I was not alone and that all the little things - although aggrivating - really didn't matter. No matter what is going on, what is impacting my day, as long as I've fed myself with His Word and with His Truth, He will sustain me. My job is to prepare long in advance (each day, making Him a priority) and listen when He beckons me to His place of rest.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rewards and God's Word

Looking at God’s Word not only tells us that rewarding obedience is not only an essential part of parenting, but also what those rewards should focus on. There are times that God rewards us materially. He does want us to prosper in the sense that we have everything we need materially and often even more than just what we need. But He most definitely does not want our material rewards to become our focus or motivation for righteous behavior. God is much more concerned with the state of our heart and His Word talks much more about a prosperity of spirit. God rewards us with healing of body and spirit, peace, forgiveness, reconciliation, joy, strength, endurance, self-control, spiritual gifts, and, of course, eternal life. This list could go on and on. It only takes a small amount of time in scripture to recognize the rewards God gives us “pressed down, shaken together and running over.”(Luke 6:38)

If God rewards us, why would we ever withhold rewards from our children? When we have an appropriate perspective on rewarding and motivating our children and what the proper rewards and incentives are, we allow ourselves to abundantly bless our children and ourselves, as we see them grow through positive interactions. There are many ways to reward our children and many different types of incentives available to motivate children. I think about my children when they were infants. As they learned to smile, to sit up, to crawl, to walk, I was there every step of the way cheering them on. A smile, a little clapping, and a big “yah!” was all they needed to encourage them to keep doing what they were doing and/or try a little harder to make that next step. Cheering our children on is a great way to motivate them. Children generally really do want to please their parents. Cheering for our children can come in many forms and will depend on your personality, your child’s personality, and the situation. Hugs, “way to go,” “I’m proud of you,” and “great job!” are all examples of ways to praise our children. It’s about encouraging them along when they’re getting it right and trying their best.

Time with our children and special treats are additional ways to reward them. We can take them on a special outing for good behavior or completed tasks over a period of time. We can let them choose a movie for the family to watch. We can let them pick what restaurant we’re going to eat at. We can buy them a small treat, or even have monetary rewards. It is all based on what works for your family and what motivates your child.

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; Deuteronomy 11:26-27

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Have you ever had one of "those days"?

I did the other day. And unlike many of our "those days" that mommies have, it had nothing to do with my children being uncooperative. Quite the contrary, my children were being great. I was even being organized when it came to them. We had a wonderful, fairly productive morning and prepared to be out the rest of the day. I was dropping them off with daddy at my mom's house, going to a doctor's appointment, picking up dinner, picking up the kids, and heading to church. I had allowed plenty of time (so I thought) as my doctor's appointment was at 2:30 and we didn't have to be at church until 5:45. Well, the best laid plans....

I realized half-way down the road that I didn't have my wallet. Which meant that I had to ask for money to buy supper and hoped that I didn't need my insurance card for my appointment (which I didn't, fortunately, since I'd just been there two weeks prior - and yes, mom, I was driving without my license on me.) I also realized that I'd forgotten my insulin. So only salad for me for supper. I dropped off the kids, put the baby down and set the others up on the computer so daddy could continue to get work done. I headed down the road to the doctor's (with 10 minutes to spare) and realized I'd left my phone at my mom's. Oh, well. The Dr's office had a phone I could use to order supper and let my husband know when I was leaving.

I was early to the appointment, but of course they were running late. I finally saw the first nurse who proceded to let me know the plan that would involve an extra appointment in the next month (meaning 6 appointments in 11 weeks) or trying to make it to Norfolk to deliver my baby (1 1/2 hours away on a good day, and my last labor was 2 1/2 hours - not a good idea.) Fortunately she left me in another office to wait on the next nurse. I was trying not to be upset when my resources kicked in. In the quite stillness of that small room God reminded me that He was in charge, He has given me His peace, and that I can do ANYTHING through Him.

I didn't get out of my appointment until 4:30, I got cut off trying to order supper and then couldn't get back through, my husband had been expecting me for an hour before I called because the clocks in my moms house hadn't been changed yet, and it took me nearly an hour to make my way there. So I arrived with supper when I should have been leaving. But I called and got my position at church covered, sat and ate supper with my family (and did have half a slice of pizza) and was completely okay with being late. When things are out of our control, it doesn't help to get harried or upset. Instead, as I've learned, I can be content in any situation - including when lots of little things are adding up to make one of "those days."

I was exhausted that evening and had to put the kids to bed by myself because my husband was working late due to his three hour interruption. But I tucked my healthy children into bed, sat in my comfortable recliner, ate my bedtime snack, took my insulin, and relaxed. Throughout the day that had lots of little bumps, God kept using His Word that I had taken the time previously to read and study to continuously remind me that I was not alone and that all the little things - although aggrivating - really didn't matter. No matter what is going on, what is impacting my day, as long as I've fed myself with His Word and with His Truth, He will sustain me. My job is to prepare long in advance (each day, making Him a priority) and listen when He beckons me to His place of rest.
 

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