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Stan

Consequences ARE Necessary

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Stan

Consequences

In my novel A Mother’s Shadow the main character did not stop a situation and someone was hurt. 

I believe as a parent one of the most difficult things we have to do is to punish our children when they do something wrong.

Why?

  • It’s hard
  • It takes effort
  • It’s a pain in the pa-tooty
  • It’s inconvenient
  • You have to follow through with it
  • You have to listen to the whining, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth
  • It often seems there is no reward or profit from doing it
  • Each kid requires a different technique

 

The list could go on for miles of why it’s easier not give a reprimand when our children choose to do wrong, and turn a blind eye then to do something about it.

Even more difficult when it is our sibling, relative, friend or a parent who makes a unethical choice.  It’s still the same – it’s difficult to ‘deal with it’, much more so than to face it head on and challenge the situation in an appropriate manner,

To begin with, we teach our children when they are young to: say you’re sorry.  However, those are just simple words. 

There are steps that must be addressed in an apology so it actually can have meaning, to then transform the person to be better, instead of simply just parroting what they are told to do.

*Keep in mind, these phases are to be suited for the age and understanding of the child.  But do not excuse yourself with she’s just a teenager, when she, or he, is capable and expected (and rightly so) to be completely responsible for decisions made.

  1. When the offender apologizes to the one he hurt, he takes on the responsibility for his actions – NO excuses!
  2. It provides the channel for the offender to learn to communicate his feelings and why he did what he did; thus opening his own mind to his feelings, actions and decisions and motives.
  3. By explaining why you are sorry it provides the opportunity to describe why it was unacceptable behavior, and helps them to think through why they would not want to repeat it again.
  4. The person apologizing takes on the responsibility of what they did and becomes a more independent person – not an entitled child/teen/adult.
  5. The other person may or may not forgive, you can only control you and that is what you need to help your child understand as they work through their own humiliation and embarrassment.
  6. By apologizing it gives the offended one the opportunity to share his point of view and gain back some poise and dignity.
  7. It relieves the offended of any sense of burden that they were at fault or that you blame them.
  8. A sense of integrity, self respect and self confidence, is gained and that they are commendable in your view as parents, and with God, because they are trying to be better.  A path for all their life.

It is so important they realize that the other person may not forgive or accept any portion of their responsibility in the situation, however that does not matter, just their involvement does.  That is the critical life lesson.

Now that part is over, there may be a consequence to be handed out also, depending on the wrongdoing. 

Again, very age appropriate. When they are toddlers and young, distracting them from whatever they are doing that will harm them or others is best.  Be positive in your speech and actions.  Do not act shocked when they are learning words and behaviors, they are just mimicking what they see and hear.  Calmly explain how your family feels about certain things and teach them in a kind way.

 

How?

When my kids were growing up I had a list of chores that they could choose from if they wanted to earn some extra spending money.  However, if they misbehaved in a way that warranted  a punishment, I choose from the list, and no money was given.  The list had items such as:  scrubbing the baseboards, taking out everything from the game closet sorting and putting the correct game pieces back in the right box, etc, cleaning out kitchen drawers, things that needed doing but that I didn’t get to often, or not usually done until spring or fall deep cleaning. It could involve yard work, or whatever and the chore was adapted to the deed done and of course the age and ability.

Why?

  1. Their misbehavior caused me to leave my projects or helping with homework, or other family duties, to deal with their situation, so they now worked for me, for free.
  2. Kids and teens need to understand that their actions lead to consequences.  They always have a choice of what to do, but they do NOT have a choice of the consequence – that is life!
  3. If a person is allowed to get away with things that are not ethical, legal, or in their own best interest long term, the consequences down the road will be dire.  It is best to learn them at home while they are manageable and small.




CRITICAL

  • Whenever your child, loved one, spouse, or anyone makes a mistake, it is not for all social media to know about!  It may not even be for other family members to hear of, unless it is in their best interest (and not just to gossip).
  • It is difficult enough to swallow pride and make amends without the entire world watching, or seemingly so.  Be kind, be wise, be charitable.  When handling these matters, act as our Father does with us.  He definitely gives us consequences for our bad decisions and rightly so; that is how we grow closer to Him and more like Him.  Let’s be very careful to do as He wants us to, and remember to pray about this continually.  He is our Father remember.
  • Whenever we have to give ANY punishment at all,  help our child apologize, we have the obligation and duty to show a HUGE increase of LOVE to our child.
    • This does not mean:
      • to spoil them afterwards as this would send the wrong message that to do something bad brings really great presents or gifts
      • to say you’re sorry for punishing them – that’s making their problem yours, and that sets you up for a lifetime of heartbreak
    •  It does mean:
      • to completely forgive them for their wrong doing
      • to let it go and not bring it up
      • LOVE THEM COMPLETELY
      • Pray for them continually, particularly if their choices lead them into terrible paths
      • NEVER, EVER give up on them. People can change HOWEVER do not PUT yourself or others in harms way.  You can love from afar if necessary, and again ask God what is right in your situation.

 

Allowing our children, from toddler through adulthood, to grow, stretch and accept responsibility; without our meddling or protecting, will create a bond of respect and love that will flow like the river.  Just as the river brings the life giving water to the roots of the plants along its banks so they can flourish.  The plants then spread seeds for more flowers, trees and beautiful foliage to grow for miles and miles around. That is what you are setting the groundwork for, as you lay down the shadow of responsibility of consequences and love.

Copy­right Car­rie Grone­man,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today




The Candy Bomber

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  This very special man went above and beyond his duties in the military.

 

 

 

 The CANDY BOMBER

  • Do you wonder if you have anything to offer and what good a little could do?
  • Does our existence matter in the grand scheme of things?

To help us understand the tremendous scope of our small efforts, let’s look at the story of “The Candy Bomber”.

In 1948 Gail Halvorsen was a Lieutenant in the US Air Force when Russia blockaded food and all supplies to West Berlin. To prevent the people from starving, the Americans and British began dropping airlifts of food to the city.

Gail was one of the many pilots involved in this huge effort. While in Berlin, he saw a group of children standing on the other side of a fence watching for the planes. He knew they were hungry, as most were in the city, but Gail only had two sticks of gum on him. What could he do, there were so many children, and he only a miniscule amount of food, and candy at that.

He approached the fence and felt impressed to share the gum. He broke the gum in halves, making four pieces, and was a bit nervous that a fight, or worse, would break out when he gave this small offering through the fence. These children had already been through so much in their young lives, and what could 4 small pieces of gum possibly do to help them? Could he protect small ones who might be harmed if there were a rush on those who did get the gum since a fence separated him from the children?

Again, the impression to share came. He followed the feeling and reached out to the children with the small pieces of gum.

The children pressed forward, but did not over power the lucky four who did get the candy. Gail waited, almost without breathing to see what would happen. The four fortunate receivers of the candy shared, even tearing the wrappers into strips to be passed around for the others to smell the sweet scent of its previous contents.

Halvorson was amazed. He had never witnessed that kind of selflessness and happiness at such a small (or even a grand) gift. The feeling of almost reverence hung over the children as they showed delight for those who had actually gotten a piece of the gum, and gratitude to simply hold a small remnant of such special contents.

Those children acted graciously, with dignity and empathy to their fellow beings, rather than selfishly or ‘it’s all about me and what I can get’.

For a moment, let’s put ourselves in their situation.

  • They were in a horrible time of distress, hunger, some had loneliness for mother, father and family. 
  • Much of what they had know had been ripped from their lives as an enemy surrounded their homes.
  • Surely they wondered how long they might live in such circumstances, yet they looked for each others comfort as best they could and not for their own pleasure or instant gratification.

When Gail grasped what was happening and how these poor souls were responding, he promised to drop more candy the next day.

So that the children would be able to identify his plane from all the others flying overhead, he told them he would wiggle his airplane wings.

That night he gathered all the candy he could from his kindhearted fellow pilots, fashioned parachutes from handkerchiefs so they would fall a bit more slowly and more easily be seen by the children.

Can you imagine the hope, the desire to live to see another day those children felt as they waited the long night, praying that someone, a stranger even, would care enough about them to come back, with just a small token of kindness?

Gail kept his word and as he flew overhead, he wiggled the wings of his plane and let go of his small, but precious cargo.

Halverson’s military buddies were also heroes in this story.

Candy and rations were as valuable as currency in Germany at that time, yet they gladly gave of their rations to help support this effort for the children of Germany.

After dropping several of these parachutes over the next few days, the local newspapers began to report of the ‘candy bombs’, and suddenly letters by the bundles came addressed to “Uncle Wiggly Wings” or “The Chocolate Pilot”, as children all over the city requested they too have special candy parachutes dropped to them.

Newspapers in America also picked up the story, and Americans were eager to help with this cause.  In fact, people all over the United States anxiously sent their own contributions to Gail to ‘parachute’ to the children.

Soon afterward, entire train boxcars were sent from the candy manufacturers in the United States to help in this effort. By this time the US Air Force was involved and many were helping in this cause, not just Gail and his plane.

The blockade ended the next spring and the parachuted candy was no longer needed.

What can we learn from this wonderful and selfless act by Gail Halverson?

  • How we act towards others, even in times of our own desperate need, does affect the outcome.
  • Even when ‘justified’ due to any number of situations, health, trying circumstances, reversal of resources and other factors, our actions most certainly determines blessings for ourselves and countless others.
  • The choice made by Mr. Halverson to act lovingly, and to follow an impression for good, though he did not know the outcome, tremendously affected numerous lives.
  • All, from the military buddies, to those who sacrificed to send a bit of candy to help – every person who was charitable and generous, gave the greatest gift they could; that of hope. They were sympathetic, concerned and cared about total strangers that they would never meet, or benefit from in a public way, they just loved and acted.

In this day of far too many taking advantage of another, or looking for an excuse to benefit at the expense of someone else, I hope we will teach this story to our family, learn from it and see the far reaching effects from a group of children who loved each other more than themselves.  Because those children looked beyond their own needs and acted as they did, thousands and possibly tens of thousands lives were influenced for the better.

God knew those children and what they needed most at that time.

He knows us and what we need right now.

God did not end the suffering as soon as it began; instead He prompted a listening person to do His work, and gave others the opportunity to lift the burden of another in need. To love as He loves and to act as He would act.

I hope we will do the small and simple acts of kindness as soon as the impression comes to our mind, and to teach our families this same principle.   We will be incredibly blessed for doing so.Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




A New Life After Baby

New Life With Baby

A New Life After Baby

A New Life After Baby

How does a baby change your life? Ahhh, the list of positives will tens of times over out weigh the list of negatives.    However parenthood does bring a few changes…..


A NEW LIFE AFTER BABY

I will confess my naiveté when starting our family.  Stan and I went to the doctor who pronounced that yes indeed we were going to have a baby. We were ecstatic, a bit afraid and totally unprepared, as any honest parent will tell you – they do not come with instructions and even when you figure out one, the others did not read the same play book.

Anyway, the next day I went back to work and asked a coworker, whose wife was due with their first baby any minute, how she was doing. He replied that she had started to dilate so it would be very soon. I thought about that all day. Stan and I worked in offices that were close to each other so it was great that we could carpool to and from work. On the way home I asked him, “So, how do they tell by looking at your eyes that you are ready to have a baby?” He almost ran us off the road he was laughing so hard!

Ok, I have learned a little more since then. Babies are such a wonderful blessing from God, and they bring us closer to our Creator than any other job, service or assignment ever could. Parenthood is a blessing and a huge adjustment. I mean seriously, how can one little body create a dozen loads of laundry a week? Their clothing is so little! Did you realize you would ‘smell funny’ for the next several years, a mixture of …..well… we won’t go into that. Oh, and that your clothing would have always have foreign matter on it, that you cannot even/want to identify? And what is with the elevation in 2 feet? How come a baby is content IF you are standing versus sitting? How can they even tell when they do not seem to understand the difference in day and night, and yet they know when you are resting by sitting for a minute! And the sleep, oh the sleep, a deep long, uninterrupted sleep….was now only a day dream.

Food, at the designated appropriate temperature the food is supposed to be when eaten, does not matter anymore. If it is intended to be served hot it will be cold when mom gets to it. If it is meant to be eaten cold, it will be warmish when she eats. (My mother has not had a hot meal in ?? years – A Christmas Story) Besides the culture shock and huge learning curve, it was frustrating to me after I had my first baby to not have anything ever ‘done’. Then, it dawned on me, I may never have a project finished. Laundry multiplied in the basket giving birth to more clothing. Dishes seem to breed in the sink, piling continually, and the list went on.

Please do not misunderstand, I LOVE being a mom but there was a reality to motherhood also.

After contemplating, and asking God for help with my predicament, I came to the idea that I would get a project that I could work on, no matter how small, that would stay done.  This would release a bit of my tension while nourishing my inner creativity (it sounds good right?!).

Stan and I packed up our firstborn one Saturday and headed down town. I found an embroidery kit on clearance that fit within our little budget and it was a done deal. The picture at the top of this post is that embroidery kit. Some days I would literally only get one stitch done. But that was my lofty goal, at least one stitch a day. When it was ready to frame I did not want it cleaned; the stains are still there to remind me of dragging it around for 2+ years – that’s right it took me TWO years to finish it. But it really fulfilled my need to ‘have something done that stayed done’ and my impatience of adjusting to my new life was so much easier because of that little project.

My picture was, and is, a testament that God does hear and listen to any who will just ask Him in a little faith for help with righteous desires. I had a need, insignificant in the grand scheme of life, yet He knows me so well, that when I could not quite understand and grasp what would help me adjust to my new life, He gave me the answer so I could feel more joy. There is nothing more precious than children coming into our life and our home. It can be, actually I can guarantee that it will a challenge and a drastic change in life; however, there is nothing of higher importance or  has deeper impact for joy and happiness than having a family.

When you have challenges of any sort, get on your knees and pray about it. Your answer may be as simple as mine was. It may be that a person comes to your mind who can give you trusted direction and support. Possibly it is you who will be the answer to give comfort, relief and moral guidance. All the inconveniences, trials, tears and experiences are worth it, because family is love and that is of the most worth.

We delight in, and savor happiness because we  know sorrow.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Thankful Thursday: 2nd Sunday Dinner

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Neighborhood Dinner!!!

Hey All, So after the blog conference we were experimenting with the camera and didn’t quite get it back to proper settings for ‘normal’ shots. I apologize for the blurriness, but I’ve included a few pics anyway.

Menu:

  • Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
  • New Orleans Red Beans & Rice (my recipe on site)
  • Rolls and butter
  • Best Fudge Cake (my recipe on site)
  • Valentine White Chocolate Bark (my recipe on site)
  • Sweetheart Palmiers (my recipe on site)
  • Valentines Muddy Buddy’s (my recipe on site)

Pictured:   The center is the chicken noodle soup. Did you know that if you add oil to your pasta cooking water it will not absorb the liquid as readily? So depending on what your purpose is for the pasta, that determines whether you add oil or not. I did not want the noodles in the soup to take in extra broth causing them to be limp, so I added the oil to the cooking water. However, when I want pasta for a sauce, I do not add the oil do it will soak up the wonderful flavors.

This tip and tons more are in my new cookbook, “Carrie’s Cooking For Keeps”

Also, in my cookbook I teach you how to make perfect white or brown rice on the stove that will not fail you.

Thanks to all who came and to all of you out there who send love and warm wishes for our 2nd Sunday dinner, though distance makes it impossible for you to join us. Carrie

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Feature Family – The Roarks

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Come on in and meet the Roarks! They are an amazing family, with a story that will fill your heart with hope and love.

Diane and Jerry were married 29 years ago – the sky was the limit to them.  However, it turned out that God had a slightly different plan for them that would include  some storm clouds, along with the beauty of a glorious rainbow.

Their children has been a tremendous blessing to them.  Some were biologically born to them and some came in a divinely guided manner; which has offered incredible challenges along the way.

 

Diane shares a bit of her life with us:

  •  Caleb, my special needs son, was born with a brain bleed. He has a shunt that keeps him alive, has had 17 emergency brain surgeries so far, has Cerebral Palsy and seizures. I keep trusting God  where Caleb’s health is concerned.
  • Jonah was adopted at age 7 1/2 and has many diagnoses: including RAD, depression, ADHD, and more.  I continually look to God to help us with his unique challenges.
  • Diana was adopted at age 4. She too has many diagnoses:  including RAD, depression, ADHD, and several learning difficulties. I trust God to help her, and us, with direction so she can thrive and be happy.
  • Casey will be 17 in August 2013. He has started driving. I definitely have to trust God daily with this one! (all parents of driving teens can relate)
  • Carly, my oldest daughter is attending medical school and plans to be a doctor one day. With her on her own,  I  trust God is protecting and watching over her.

Carly grad 2013 pic 34Jonah not pictured

Diane and Jerry knew they were meant to adopt these wonderful special needs children, however the abuse the two children had suffered was unimaginable, causing trust and love issues; which will take a life-time of work, and continual effort.  Despite the heavy burden it brings, they know they have been sent to them from God, and they are loved as deeply as the other children.

Combining their biological children, with seriously neglected children, has proven heart breaking at times, yet providently providing moments of heaven on earth, which keep the family moving forward in faith and promise.

As Jerry must travel a great deal for work, Diane bares a large portion for the raising of their children.  Her passion, besides her family is her amazing blog,  Recipes for Our Daily Bread (click HEREwww.recipesforourdailybread.com) which is uplifting, inspiring and offers very worthwhile content.

The Roarks, have heavy demands on their time and emotions, still find find time and energy to reach out to serve in their church, their community, and any who cross their path.

Their example of unconditional love, hope and joy, even in the depths of great sorrow with such special children in their care, is a guide and blessing to us all.

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.