Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Today, Kim and I went to listen to Joe White of Kanakuk camps speak about "Motherhood and the Incredible Worth of a Child." When I worked at Kanakuk 16+ years ago, I worked at the Kamp where Joe was. I watched him work with children on a daily basis, and back then his own four children were still pretty young. I remember Cooper being a towheaded little linebacker. Now, Joe has 8 grandkids and has been fighting two kinds of cancer. He was always an amazing man, but there is no doubt the last 16 years of experiences have transformed him into a tender yet tough, raw yet refined man who stands bullishly on the Word of God. 100+ women listened to him today, most of us in tears. A lot of the time when he spoke, he spoke with his eyes closed. Almost long enough to be awkward... like "Joe, are you there," but you could really see that it was almost as if he were walking with God at that very moment. I want to record some of his words. Like my sister remarked, "I wish I could hear him every week." Yep, it was energizing. Confirmation that even through the grinding days of parenthood when I think to myself "I am the WORST mother in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD", (and I have been thinking that a lot lately) I AM doing something right. And it is precious. Motherhood is precious in God's sight. Here are some of his nuggets:

*Be encouraging, not exasperating.

*Catch your kids in the act of doing something good, and tell them about it.

*Ask more questions than you give advice.

*Ask open ended questions with no strings attached.

*Kids often clam up when they are getting too much advice.

*Be firm, don't be frustrated.

*Don't give em to 3, just give em to 1.

*You will at some point not be popular. In fact, your kids may fire you. But in the end, you will be their best friend. It may take a lot of time, but stay strong in what you are teaching them.

*When you feel that your kids don't like you, remember that God didn't call you to be your kids' friend, He called you to be their parent.

*Follow through, don't be a flip flop.

*Fill the cup gently.

*As much as you can, lay down with your kids at night and just be beside them. Talk a little, but listen the most.

*It seems so small but means so much: take time to ask your kids "how can I pray for you?" If they don't answer, that's ok. But they know you are praying for them.

*If you memorize scripture with your kids, the benefits are immeasurable.

*Don't memorize scripture, treasure it.

*Pick your favorite scripture and let God hug you.

*Psalm 91 is God's Hallmark card to you.

*At the end of every day, hug your child and tell them, "I love you and I'm proud to be your mom." Let that be the last thing they hear before they go to sleep.

*It's all about the relationship. It's not about the straight A's or the clean room or the basketball team. It's about the relationship.

*Lead without fear.

2 Wonderful Responses:

Heather Keith said...

I did not start the day well with my kids today. This was great information and thanks so much for sharing!

Nana said...

Annie, love your new blog header and loved the comments. Even we Nanas need to hear these little nuggets of wisdom