NEW from SEEDS FAMILY WORSHIP

For those of you who love SEEDS FAMILY WORSHIP CD’s, here is a great offer!

The Character of God – New Seeds Album Now Available
Seeds Music Character of God
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The Character of God is now available on the Seeds web store here! Use the coupon code CHARACTEROFGOD and get 20% off the purchase of the CD!!!
Download the First Song from the New Album

Download God the Creator based on Genesis 1:1 here.

*disclaimer: Seeds Family Worship is not affiliated with Fellowship Bible Church. Fellowship Bible Church makes no money from the sale of downloads or CD’s. This is for informational purposes only. All questions should be directed to SEEDS FAMILY WORSHIP.

A Message from the Field (TMoms) by Marya Elrod

Dear Brave TMoms,

 Isaiah 43:18-19

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  

 

I love that picture of Him bringing life & hope to something that before was overwhelming and desolate.  But today, as I was reading that chapter again, verse 5 hit me in a new way.  “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.” 

 

So here we are…some of our children are wondering in the east while we are evidently somewhere in the west…we tend to be scattered people even living under one roof…and God is the one doing the gathering, the pulling together.  He does not say for us to get ourselves together or come to Him when we think we can do it right.  He has His arms wrapped around our children and he has his arms wrapped around us in all our broken states. And He says, “Do not be afraid…See, I am doing a new thing!”

 

Have you had a chance to use your “How They Are Wired” chart to figure out some ways to SEE your teen differently?  Remember that vision for who God is creating them to be is what they see us reflecting back to them.  We can trust Him to do the work.  He is capable!

 

Side Note:  Below is the poster I started at TMoms in December the week Jenny Watson spoke.  She encouraged us to make a poster to remind us to be grateful.  My kids added to it and it took me until January to get it finished and hung up on our pantry door but it is helping me.  I forget so easily just how much I have to be thankful for! We may just keep adding things to this as we go! Thank you, Jenny!

 

In His Amazing Grace,

Marya

 

 
 
 

Open This Heart and Let me In! by Jenny Watson

“Let me come in” “Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.” Then I’ll….

How many times could this be a script of a parent trying to get into a teen’s heart? The question for us – what will we fill in at the end of that sentence. Then I’ll… do what? Our teens think they know what we will do, and they are usually right. We are so predictable.

 

The chapters from, The Backdoor to Your Teen’s Heart discussed in December at T-moms gave us some fresh ideas, some unpredictable responses to help us answer the big question, “What’s a mother to do?”

 

The answers given by the book seem very simple. Creating an environment where our teens have an adequate amount of downtime and creating a place where laughter and joy are commonly heard will soften the hearts of our teens. But, when we see our son playing video games for hours, or our daughters watching marathons of America’s Next Top Model our skin begins to crawl. We can’t help ourselves. You can predict what happens next, “You have been doing that for too long. Get up and do something.” What does that communicate to our children? How does that make them feel? What would happen if we walked up and said, “I’m so glad that you have been able to have some time to play videos, or watch this show? I know you love it.”

 

While you have to have a balance and can’t allow this all the time, the holidays are upon us, and can’t we allow a little spontaneous downtime especially if that softens our teen’s hearts and allows us access?

 

The chapter also gave some ideas for some planned, proactive downtime. One thing our kids needed was some time to stop thinking. When our kids were small we sent them to their rooms to think about their behavior. Looking back we realize that was a big waste if we didn’t direct them how to think. In the same way, we have to teach our teens how to stop thinking, how to control their thoughts so that they can free their minds to hear from God. Remember to practice the method we learned to stop and clear out our minds, and lest you think it is not necessary, read II Corinthians 10:5 “…take every thought captive to obey Christ.” What about Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, what ever is true, what ever is honorable, what ever is right, whatever is pure, what ever is lovely, what ever is of good repute, if there is any excellence, and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Teach our children to take their thoughts captive and learn to change the thoughts they are dwelling on if necessary.

 

Another way for us to train our kids to have downtime is to encourage journaling. Looking back at what they have written in their journals helps them to gain perspective that doesn’t come naturally and helps them to clarify what they are really feeling, but some of our kids might want to sit down and write in a journal just about as much as they want to read a book about studying for the ACT. It seems more like work than downtime. One idea we tried was to lay out magazines on the table with journals, glue and scissors. Have everyone cut out pictures, words, colors, or phrases that they like and glue them in their journals. Use these “inspired ideas” pages and just comment in the journal as to why they liked a particular picture or what a certain quote inspired them to think about. They may cut out cartoons and comics that they think are funny. This is not a waste because as we learned in the next chapter of the book, laughter is a very necessary ingredient if we are cultivating an environment that will encourage our teens to open the door to their hearts.

 

Now this seems like an easy assignment. We must enjoy ourselves. There are times living with a sullen teen or one who thinks we are the dumbest person alive that could suck the joy right out of the room very quickly.

 

Their lack of joy is their problem right now, and we can’t make their problem our own. We must model happiness. We cannot make them the source of our happiness. They are not responsible for it. They have the right to think we aren’t funny, and we have the right to crack ourselves up and think we are hilarious.

 

Have fun without them if they won’t join in, and maybe sometimes don’t invite them to join. Play a game with your husband. When they were little, we orchestrated their activities, schedules and friends. We made sure they had happy times. They need to learn how to make themselves happy in the same way they learned to comfort themselves to sleep at night. Watch for the things that make them laugh spontaneously. Have those things in your home. If you would like more laughter in your home in 2012, then what can you do to nurture that into being? Buy a joke book. Write out a riddle in the morning and give the answer at dinner. Read three jokes and have everyone vote on which they think is the funniest. Play games. Laugh at your self when you do. Do embarrassing things. Take your family to a pottery place and make a coaster set with each person painting one coaster. Find a movie or TV show that you can watch that is funny.

 

Especially at this time of year, you can find knick-knacks that say, “Joy” or “Hope” or even “Laugh.” Put one in your home and keep it displayed year round.

 

Ecclesiastes 2:25 says, “For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?” If you are struggling with enjoying your life, with enjoying our God, it seems cliché, but keep a gratitude journal. Put a poster board with this verse on it inside your pantry door and have everyone write something they are thankful for on the poster before they can “eat” a snack. It will probably end up being a very funny poster.

 

Remember Psalm 126. The first two verses talk about great things God has done for His people which contributed to their happiness. The center verse states that presently the people are glad. The next verses speak to the future and give hope. Hope is crucial to enjoying a teenager. In order to be presently glad, or happy, we need to look at the faithful past and the hopeful future. This too will be funny one day.

 

Don’t wait until after the holidays to start enjoying yourself. Begin now. It’s a really fun assignment and may lead to some moments over this holiday time where you can go through the backdoor to your teen’s heart. You will say, “Let me come in” in a way where they don’t even recognize that you asked, and instead of, “not by the one scraggly hair that you just noticed is growing on my chinny-chin-chin” you may get some unexpected access!

Seeds Family Worship – Thanksgiving activity, discount, free download

Some great Thanksgiving activities for you and the kids and  a FREE download of “GIVE THANKS” from the SEEDS OF CHARACTER CD:

 

https://app.e2ma.net/app/view:CampaignPublic/id:22437.7353437413/rid:ad12f2b434fb14850c93aa44187b94b0

 

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Things I’ve Learned as a Mom by Cindy Hamilton

I’ve only been a mom for about 6 years, but in that time I have learned a thing or two about mommyhood. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

1. Never leave baby wipes in the car. In the summer they dry-up and in the winter they freeze solid.

2. Every mom feels insecure about something.

3. Never serve cupcakes with colored frosting to children. EVER.

4. Your children will tell your in-laws things  about your family that you never meant to leave the house.

5. There are no restrooms at Wal-Mart. (I know this is dishonest. But, I really CANNOT go in there!)

6. Good or bad, your children will reflect back to you YOU.

7. No matter how cute your shoes are, people still can’t get past the spit-up on your shoulder.

8.  Yours is the smartest, best looking AND best behaved child in the class. And you just let the other moms THINK their child is.

9. Never throw your child’s artwork or homework  away in the top of the trash. Always bury it deep inside and under other trash.

10. Don’t assume “playing quietly” is a good thing.

11. Once your child gets the first free cookie at the grocery, you can never go back again without visiting the bakery.

12. Baby feet are the cutest thing in the world.

13. Listening to your child pray is the sweetest sound you will ever hear.

14.  Never leave tempting snacks on low shelves of the pantry.

15. You are not in competition with other moms.

16. A child’s kiss is sweeter than honey even when it messes-up your make-up.

17. Mismatched clothing is not worth arguing over.

18. Prayer takes on a whole new meaning.

19. 7:30pm used to seem early.

20. Hearing “Mommy, I love you.” can turn even the worst day around.

MOM TO MOM: What Should A New Mom Be Praying?

Here is this month’s MOM TO MOM question:

” I am a new mom and know I need to be praying for my son. But, does anyone have any advice on what to pray for or what types of books are good to read to young children? I want to start out on the right foot!”

Have a suggestion? Leave it in the comments below.

Also, don’t forget to add to our ONE THOUSAND GIFTS list for the moms of Fellowship Bible Church. So far we have a terrific list!

This Month’s MOM TO MOM Question

Welcome to this month’s MOM TO MOM.

MOM TO MOM will give you, our readers, the opportunity to ask and response to questions from fellow moms just like you!

This week’s question:

“My 13 year old daughter is starting to want to dress in clothing that her father and I don’t feel is appropriate. All her friends are wearing super short skirts and shorts and low cut tops which we do not want her wearing. And, of course, she wants to be like her friends! How do we go about talking to her about appropriate dress and find middle ground? Thanks so much for any help!”

Have advice? Leave it below!

Have a question you want to ask? E-mail fellowshipmoms (at) hotmail (dot) com All questions will remain anonymous and all names will be removed before posting.

***The thoughts and opinions given by our readers are not endorsed by nor are they the opinion of Fellowship Bible Church. Comments deemed inappropriate will be removed.***

NEW FEATURE: Mom to Mom

This week we are adding a new feature to the blog: MOM TO MOM.

MOM TO MOM will give you, our readers, the opportunity to ask and response to questions from fellow moms just like you!

This week’s question:

“My daughter is in elementary school and has a neighbor friend who has had a difficult home life. We love her friend coming to our house, but her friend always tries to lead my daughter into trouble. My daughter’s friend will wait until I leave the room and try and get my daughter to do the things I have specifically told them are not allowed in our house. Right now, they are young, so it is things like standing on the furniture or watching a TV show that isn’t allowed in our home. But, who knows what this could turn into as they get older. We want our daughter to be a good influence on this girl, but we don’t want this girl to lead our daughter astray! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!”

Have advice? Leave it below!

Have a question you want to ask? E-mail fellowshipmoms (at) hotmail (dot) com All questions will remain anonymous and all names will be removed before posting.

***The thoughts and opinions given by our readers are not endorsed by nor are they the opinion of Fellowship Bible Church. Comments deemed inappropriate will be removed.***

GUEST POST: Helping Your Teen Make the Transition to Adulthood by Carol Worsham T-Moms

My family and I recently watched the movie 2012.  The movie is basically about Global Flood 2.0 (caused by sun explosions instead of God’s wrath this time), but the world’s leaders, who have been warned of the imminent cataclysm by scientists, decide to keep it under wraps for several years – while building massive “arks” to carry a chosen 400,000 people (smartest, strongest, richest) to start a new life somewhere.  This is not typically my type of movie, but I actually liked it because of the characters’ willingness to sacrifice themselves to save others: a father pushing his son to safety, losing the chance to save himself; a pilot helping passengers escape a crashing plane while he stays behind; a man flirting with almost certain death to save an arkload of humanity. The president of the United States himself—who, by virtue of his job, has a spot on one of the arks—elects to stay behind in solidarity with the rest of the country.  There are several poignant moments of family members telling each other goodbye over the phone or as they hold each other before dying.

I got to thinking about the last chapter of our For Parents Only book … if our teenagers knew we were about to die, what would they want to tell us most?  Do you wonder, like I do, if your teen really cares about you at all … your feelings, thoughts, opinions?  And what do you think he or she would say if asked what they would want to tell you if they knew you were going to die tomorrow?  Would it surprise you if they said “I’m sorry” and “I love you so much”?  I hope not, but I realize that may be where some of you are with your teens right now.  I encourage you to keep the faith, hang in there with unconditional love and fervent prayers, and keep trying to step into their world and understand where they are coming from and what is going on in their heads and in their hearts.  Even though it may not show right now, our children likely hold tremendous love, value and respect for us in their hearts.  One day they’ll be able to tell us so!  And it is so comforting and reassuring to me to know that as much as we love and want the best for our children, God infinitely more desires to see our children grow into amazing adults who fulfill His design and their callings to the fullest.

I am naturally a task-oriented person – as opposed to a relational one – so I often miss rich times with my kids because I don’t take time to formulate good questions (read: think before I speak) and really “interview” them.  My husband and children can also attest that my timing often stinks – I usually don’t choose the ideal time for criticism, even if it is constructive.  Thank goodness God’s ability to produce the amazing, fruitful adults my children may become far outstrips my ability to mess it up!  And His vision for who they can/will become is so much bigger than my own.  As I looked back over the book, here are a few of the highlights that I really want to remember:

*Understand that a craving for freedom is a natural part of growing up. Help them move from

fearing their parents to fearing God.

*Separating themselves from your identity to their own identity is a painful but often necessary part of growing up. Stay strong in your values while affirming who they are becoming.

*Be a parent, not a friend. Exercise authority in ways that build your kids up and promote personal responsibility.

*Be there for your kids. Make the effort to step into their world regularly. Let them know you love them unconditionally and truly want to understand them.

*Remember to be an oasis of calm in your teen’s life… don’t overreact – positively or negatively. Gently probe deeper to get past their surface answers and really listen.

*Remember that a bad attitude often masks insecurities … a fear of failure in boys and a fear of rejection in girls. Extend grace as you encourage and affirm them during these tumultuous years.

We have three children, and this year was the senior year of high school for our second daughter.  For those of you who have yet to experience this, along with the infamous 18th birthday, just get ready!  Most likely many of the things you thought you knew about your child are going to get turned upside down. Some in a good way and others… not so much.  Thankfully I had been somewhat prepared by some wonderful moms who have gone before me, but it has still been an emotional rollercoaster.  One of the moms in my small group surmised (wisely, in my opinion) that when the time to leave the nest is drawing near, a teen needs to make that nest feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, so that leaving it is not so hard or so bad.

Wherever you are on the spectrum, take heart.  The days are long but the years are short.  Enjoy the good days and rejoice in the growth in maturity and wisdom that both you and your teen are experiencing in the hard days.

GUEST POST: Our Teens Need to Feel Secure by Anna Clagett

OUR TEENS NEED TO FEEL SECURE


When my oldest child entered the teen years, I remember thinking, “Who took my sweet little boy and replaced him with this guy?” My son who liked to laugh, cuddle, talk, and just be with me had been substituted by one who would rather be with friends, listen to music, or just hide out in his room than interact with me.  As bewildering as that was, and even hurtful to my mama’s heart, I’ve since learned that teens still need you to engage with them, to initiate, and to keep connecting.

Teenagers are desperately trying to figure out who they are.  Their bodies are changing, their hormones are raging, and the pressures of life are increasing (grades, college plans, jobs, finances…).  The tumult going on in their world makes them even more eager for some sense of stability and security.  We as parents, who have known them and have loved them more and longer than anyone on this earth, must be the source of that security.  The tricky part of this equation is that we as parents need to figure out the best way to serve up that security in a way our teens can receive it. And lest you think there is a single recipe that will fill every teens needs, let me say that I have found the recipes to be different for each and every one of my five teens.

For example, my college freshman recently celebrated her birthday. She and I are very close, and I happen to know that for her, being in the kitchen speaks love to her.  She is the one who is famous among her friends for bringing to-die-for lemon squares, or homemade chocolates to their gatherings.  Needless to say, the freshman dormitory life has curtailed her culinary outlet, so I decided to prepare dinner for her and her friends in Knoxville that weekend.  She planned the guest list and the menu, which she also loves to do, I brought all the ingredients, and we had a great evening together.

Now, my other kids would not have appreciated that type of weekend nearly so much. But what are some general principles in communicating security and love to our teens?

  1. Be honest about your failures, both past and present. They want to know that you are REAL, and that you can relate to them as they muddle through these years of learning to be adults. Along with this comes asking for forgiveness from them as well as readily forgiving them!
  2. Step in with confidence to protect them and to cheer them on. They need to know that when they get into a bind, you will be the adult in their corner, that you believe the best of them, and that they are safe with you.  Does that mean you let them off the hook or back down when the situation calls for discipline or consequences?  No. But even then, make sure your love for them is clearly communicated.
  3. Be united as parents. Respect your spouse and deal with issues that arise behind closed doors at an appropriate time.
  4. Spend time in their world. Go to concerts, ball games, coffee shops, and the mall with them. Enter into whatever it is they love.
  5. Communicate! This is the time in your life where, much like the infant years, you may be sleep deprived.  Your child may really open up at midnight, so take an afternoon nap if you need one to be available to them.
  6. Ask questions. Your teen needs to learn to make decisions and come to their own conclusions, so we must bite our tongues when we are tempted to jump in with an answer (or a lecture!). These are the years to ask them and coach them in establishing their own world view.
  7. Don’t FREAK OUT! Be calm at all costs.  Your teen will likely throw you some doozies. Whether it involves tattoos, hair color, or a broken curfew, if you react emotionally, they will NOT feel secure being honest with you.
  8. Give them opportunities to try, and even to fail. These are the final years for your kids to get their “sea legs” before they sail off into the big blue shark-filled ocean. Walk beside them, but resist the urge to do it for them.
  9. Point them to Jesus, the ultimate source of security. From Psalm 62, we are reminded that God is our Rock, Salvation, Stronghold, and Refuge.  On Him our salvation and glory rest, and we can trust in Him and pour out our hearts to Him! Our teens’ heavenly Father will be present with them when we can’t be, and they couldn’t be in better hands.
  10. Play with them. They may not be into Barbies and Legos anymore, but they still want you to play with them.  Dancing together in the kitchen, verbal banter, practical jokes, cooking together, bike rides, and special family vacations are just some of the ways you can play with your teens. Playfulness shows them that you are fully present, that you like them, and like being with them.

 

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