Warmest Christmas greetings to you and your loved ones!! May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace—in abundance—this Christmas and into 2016.
These are just some fabulous exotic plants I encounter during my daily walks in Kenya. So beautiful.
I am a firm believer that as parents (and guardians), we are responsible for guiding and supporting our children towards fulfilling their life’s purpose, rather than manipulating their future life course.
Contrary to what some parents may feel, children are not prized possessions; they are on loan to us for a season. They were not created to be replicas of ourselves. Children, from conception, have their own unique identity and personhood. Therefore, it’s an honor and weighty responsibility to nurture children into becoming emotionally intelligent, compassionate, empathetic, and productive human beings. And this privilege comes from God.
You didn’t come from your parents, you came through your parents
While mulling over this truth, I came across an inspiring and challenging message by Lance Wallnau that speaks volumes about our godly heritage and how parents and guardians shape our life story. Please read on to uncover some deep truths.
Sometimes somebody might come into the world through parents that are divorced or a mother that put them up for adoption, or they could even be the victim of incest or rape or something terrible like that. You know, not everyone comes through the earth in a fairytale story.
You didn’t come from your parents, you came through your parents, God is the one who brought you into the world. I love that.
You didn’t come from your parents. You may have had loving parents, you may have had good parents, but you didn’t come from your parents, you came through your parents. God is the one who brought you into history at this time.
- Whatever age you are, you are exactly the age God wanted you to be in 2015.
- Whatever gender you are, you are exactly the gender God wanted you to be in 2015.
- Whatever race or nationality or color of skin you are, you are who God brought you into the earth to be in this hour in history.
You are at the right place in the right body with the right gender in the right nationality with the right skin tone. And if you are a Christian, then your parents may have been the delivery vehicle through which God brought you into the world.
You came from God. God wanted you to exist. God wanted you to be here. God has gifts and talents that he has given you. And he has given them to you because He wants you to be an extension and expression of the goodness of God to other people’s lives.
God is putting the fragments of your story together so that your story will have a better next chapter than you possibly could ever imagine.
God is positioning you in your prayers. Please pray. Pray for God to put you at the right place with the right people at the right time.
Be faithful in everything that God gives you. Be faithful to honor everything. Put your faith into fruitless situations simply because by serving as unto the Lord, serving as unto God, and not unto people, serving as unto the Lord and not unto a ministry or person, but making the Lord your client. Every time you work with a client, treat them as though it was Jesus and do it by faith because God will be working through those people to connect you to His divine appointments.
Tell me, were you as blessed by these powerful truths as I was?
If your partner is not the romantic type who spreads flower petals for you to walk upon, you can always rely on Mother Nature to step up her game.
Ahh, the jacaranda tree, wooing lovers with all her beauty, laying a carpet of lilac petals for me to walk upon. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news (Romans 10:15)!
Life is full of surprises. And that’s what keeps it interesting. You never really know what awaits in the next minute, hour, day, or month. But seeing my little guy pressing his tiny hand against this airplane window was a poignant reminder of how we should keep lunging forward into life, reaching toward our goals, no matter the uncertainty, doubt, or fear.
So this November, I plan to forget what lies behind—including the mishaps, failures, and mistakes—and to reach for the things that lie ahead (Philippians 3:13).
No turning back. Only pressing forward.
What you sow today will manifest tomorrow. So be intentional about all you do; your health, family, relationships, career, and business opportunities must respond to the effort and labor you put in today. Create realistic goals and action plans that will encourage your success. Think big, start small.
Nothing happens by accident
A compassionate, loving adult learned these virtues as a child. A vibrant, radiant soul is a product of a positively-nourished mind and spirit. Healthy hair and skin are manifestations of what we feed our bodies. You see, it’s important to take control of your life by implementing habits and routines that are consistent with the future you want to see for yourself.
What parenting taught me about seeking the future I want
My parenting experience has taught me that life is somewhat predictable. Children respond extremely well to structure and consistency, to the extent that you can predict their behavior. Kids thrive in loving and nurturing environments where they know it’s okay to play, fall, and push the boundaries. They also appreciate discipline, with the caveat that it’s consistent and modeled by unconditional acceptance. So don’t look at structure and consistency as being boring, they are gateways to success and predictable results. And who doesn’t like to see results?
Good habits are safety nets for success
I consider strong habits as “safety nets” for success. Good habits encourage predictable results. They allow you to explore your potential in a structured way. Decide today what you want your future to look like and begin forming habits and routines to materialize your goals. Don’t focus on lofty or grandiose goals. Start small. As you begin to see results, you’ll be inspired to push for bigger goals.
In all your getting, be kind and patient with yourself; do not despise these small beginnings … begin the work.
If you could walk on water, how far would you go?
How long before fear set in, making you scream, “Save Me, Lord!”
When it comes to new experiences, there’s little room for doubt. Mediocre faith won’t get you far. Thankfully, God is there to grab us and prevent us from “sinking.”
Empathy can change the world. We need more of it.
Simply put, empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and feeling what they’re feeling. This means:
Empathy has long been established as a cornerstone of emotional intelligence. Therefore, people with high emotional intelligence demonstrate great empathy.
Jesus wept (John 11:35).
This classic biblical scripture is a perfect embodiment of empathy. Jesus showed great empathy for the sick, the blind, the deaf, the destitute, the forsaken, the least of these, and more; he modeled high emotional intelligence.
So how empathetic are you? Check out this fun video clip to test your empathy.
It’s never too early to teach children how to manage their emotions. A large and growing body of research demonstrates that emotional intelligence is associated with positive outcomes in children beginning as early as preschool.
According to Daniel Goleman, author of the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence:
Emotional intelligence is a different way of being smart. It includes knowing what your feelings are and using your feelings to make good decisions in life. It’s being able to manage distressing moods well and control impulses. It’s being motivated and remaining hopeful and optimistic when you have setbacks in working toward goals. It’s empathy; knowing what the people around you are feeling. And it’s social skill—getting along well with other people, managing emotions in relationships, being able to persuade or lead others.
A big aspect of emotional intelligence is teaching kids how to appropriately identify and label their emotions. By developing and expanding their emotional literacy (vocabulary), children can adequately focus on discovering and defending their true selves. And we know that confident children are less easily swayed by negative peer pressure influences.
With bullying and hate speech rampant in our society, we must teach our children how to nurture their inner voice. Identity is so crucial to a prosperous and healthy soul; personally, I don’t want society defining who or what my child is or will become.
There are numerous techniques for cultivating a culture or environment of healthy emotional responses in children. One such technique called “The Stoplight” teaches kids about impulse control and how to respond when distressed, upset, or facing a problem.
The Stoplight offers children concrete steps for dealing with challenging situations:
Calm down and think before you act
Say the problem and how you feel
Set a positive goal
Think of lots of solutions
Think ahead to the consequences
Go ahead and try the best plan
I’ll be sure to implement this strategy next time my daughter acts up or is in distress.