How to Help Your Boy Discover His Gifts and Purpose

One Friday morning earlier this month, we made the trip to an area arts and academic meet for our oldest son. He had been chosen to participate in a math competition as well as have his artwork displayed at the art show. The fact that he was doing well in both math and art at school really got me thinking about the gifts God places in our kids and how unique they are for each child.

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As a mom to three growing boys, I have a front row seat to see these gifts being revealed in each of my sons. It is quite the show and I’m realizing I am not a passive viewer in this situation. God has a role for us as parents in helping our children discover and grow in the talents given to them by Him.

As my oldest is only 10, I don’t have any expert advice for you, but I do have real-life experience, right now in the trenches with you, and I’ve observed these ways to participate in this process without taking over the lives of my kids.

I’m sharing my thoughts on a parent’s role in this process over at the Tommy Nelson blog today! Head on over there to read more and join the discussion!

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A Morning Song for Moms {+ Love Dare Check-In!}

Morning Song for Moms

I’ve listened to the song many, many times. It is on my running playlist. The music has pushed to me to keep going on a run more than once, but it’s the lyrics that are pushing me forward this morning.

If I’m being completely honest, a new week almost always starts with a list of things I need and want to get done. Planning for the week often trumps praying for the week. And I can feel our week reflecting this in its focus on tasks and schedules over experiences and moments.

This song came on during a run and, after a stressful and self-centered week, I heard the words in a different way. I heard them as a mom who needed a different perspective going into a new week. I heard a prayer for a heart more like Christ’s – full of love and surrender to the will of God. I heard just the thing I knew I needed to start each week.

For King and Country’s The Middle of Your Heart was once a super motivating running song to me, but it is now my morning prayer and motivation as a mom. Take a moment to listen today and I think you’ll know why…

Each Monday {and every other day, too!}, I find myself needing to confess and surrender…

This is where I say I don’t need to have control…
I don’t know how to handle it…
You’re my only hope…
All that I have to offer is the white flag of surrender…

And I pray this to start anew again and again…

Take me to the middle of Your heart
Lead me to wherever Your love starts
To a new day dawning
To the place You are
And if You want to take me over the edge
I’ll let you cause Your love is where I’ll land
Wanna be right where You are,
In the middle of Your heart

My morning couldn’t begin a better way than with these words. It’s a recommitment to love the way He does, start fresh, and take those leaps of faith knowing He will always catch me, full of His never-ending grace.

Specifically, I pray these things over my relationship with my children. I know that my love has its limits, but His does not, and I want to love those boys with His love.

P.S. This song is a really great one to crank up in the car as well. Just so you know.

Boys Walking Thankful

Which leads me to our Love Dare for Parents check-in for the week…

Love Dare Day 8

I feel like this week gave me a LOT to think about, even more than things on which to act. A few questions I am still pondering from this week include:

  • What life skills and life lessons do I want the boys to learn from us?
  • What positive attributes do I see in my kids that I could affirm to them?
  • What changes do I need to make to discipline them with both nurture AND admonition?

Every day is like a baby step toward better parenting for me, and sometimes I wish I even had more than one day to work on a certain dare. If you feel like that as well, feel free to hit pause and spend more time on a lesson you need or want more time to process and act on!

Love Dare Day 9

I am on Day 15 today, but it’s more about continuing the challenge than moving from day to day on schedule. Take it at a speed that feels good to you, but don’t stop! Don’t let life pull you away from this journey!

Love Dare Day 11

What dares are you still processing? Which day this week stuck out in your mind as the most important for your family?

 

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The Love Dare for Parents!

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Let’s see, I think it was about four years ago when I read The Love Dare and took on the 40-day challenge in the book. I did it on the down-low so The Hubby had no idea I was following any kind of plan. I’m sneaky like that. And the secret element was definitely part of the fun and challenge.

I loved the Love Dare challenges and many of them have stuck with me to this day. I actually didn’t see Fireproof, the movie that features The Love Dare, until well after I had completed the challenge, but it was really moving to see it played out in someone else’s marriage, even if it was just in a movie.

Love Dare for Parents

Because I enjoyed The Love Dare so much, I was thrilled to hear about the publication of The Love Dare for Parents, which releases today!

The Love Dare for Parents comes at a GREAT time for me, as I’m trying to discover how to love my children more like Jesus loves them – and me! My heart was immediately touch by one of the verses this book is based around…

He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents… ~Malachi 4:6

Tears came to my eyes as I read that verse because THIS is what I long for. We aren’t struggling from any family dysfunction or major tragedy or strife, but I have been praying for more family unity and this verse spoke right to my deep desire for our family.

Like the original Love Dare, The Love Dare for Parents involves a 40-day challenge for parents {can be done by one parent or both}. Each day includes:

  • a promising key verse from Scripture
  • a biblical principle about love that applies to parenting
  • a specific challenge the parent does for the sake of their child
  • space to journal thoughts and reflect on what happened that day

I really can’t wait to get started on this and see how Jesus transforms my heart for our children through these 40 days! And because I crave and thrive on accountability, I’m inviting you to join me in taking The Love Dare for Parents summer challenge!

Love Dare for Parents Summer Challenge

Want to join me? Here’s the plan:

1. We will kick off the challenge Monday, July 15th. That should give you plenty of time to order the book for yourself in print or ebook format!

2. Take the Love Dare Parenting Assessment for free online! It’s a great starting place for The Love Dare, helping  identify your strengths and weaknesses as a parent and providing verses to encourage you in each area. “Showing & modeling” and “teaching & leading” were strengths for me and I want to try to play those up even more. I was not surprised to find that I am in need of some work in the “patience & gentleness” area, so I will be paying closer attention to the challenges that focus on those virtues! The assessment also tells you which days will focus on each category!

3. Read each day, take the challenge, and write down your thoughts regarding the verse, the application, the challenge, whatever you want to document! If you buy the ebook version, just use a journal to track your way through the 40 days. I REALLY want to encourage you to right something down each day. You will love to go back and see the ways God has spoken to you and changed you!

4. I will put up a recap post for the past week each Monday! I would love for you to share your thoughts on the week in the comments! If you decide to blog about it, I will provide a link-up as well so we can all read your posts!

5. If you want to join me in tweeting about each day’s challenge, just use the hashtag #lovedareparents! And I’m @homewiththeboys over there if you’re looking for me!

Go grab your copy now and I’ll see you back here on Monday, July 15th to get this dare started!

Who’s taking this dare with me?!

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