Back to the local library and I found a book called The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler. Although I did not agree with everything in the book, I was so intrigued by some information in the chapter titled: The Right Way to Have Family Dinner. Telling stories about your history and your family’s history is so very very important in raising our children and grandchildren. Children need to know they are part of a bigger picture, part of a larger family.
It’s important for the children to know where you grew up, how you met your spouse, some of the joys and trials and more. Having a strong intergenerational self is important for the children to be able to grow up, be resilient, and move forward.
Grandmas, it turns out, are central to the wellness of the child. When a problem comes up, tell a story about a relative who had a similar trial and how it worked out. When you are eating a meal and telling these stories, it’s win win. Eating together is nurturing. Eating with family, hearing these stories, is nourishing. Being able to hear the stories and then putting yourself into the family history is so key. Let the children know that they are part of a bigger picture.
A gift for you!
compiled by Jane E. Vos
Learning that you or a loved one has a mental illness can be devastating. Your world is turned “upside down”. Finding support and resources can take months of research. In the meantime, it is easy to lose hope and feel alone. This collection of helpful resources has come together after 5 years of effort. We care about what you’re going through.
I’ve been collecting resources to help with the wonderful ministry of prayer. Here is one resource that I came across some years ago. Please feel free to print this out and use it in your prayer time. Did you realize that even if your children and/or grandchildren live 1oo’s of miles away, you can pray for them regularly!
Assurance of salvation. Lord, lead my children to trust only in Jesus’ sacrifice for their eternal salvation; assure them that their souls are secure in Your hands. (In. 3:16, 10:28- 29; 1 In. 5:13)
Intimacy with God. Draw my children face to face with You, that they might taste Your goodness and long for more of You. (Ex. 33:11; Ps. 27:8, 34:8,42:1-2)
Spiritual blessing. Father, remind my children that You have adopted them in love. Enable them to experience all the spiritual blessing they have in Christ Jesus, especially Your measureless love. May they act, speak, and think in ways fitting for a child of God. (Eph. 1:3-14, 3:17-19, 5:8-10)
Confidence in prayer. Assure my children that You hear their prayers and that you always answer as a caring Father, even when they do not receive what they want. (1 In. 5:14-15; Mt. 7:7-11)
Repentance. When my children sin, quickly lead them to confess and repent so that they
might enjoy a clear conscience and unbroken fellowship with You. (Ps. 32:1-2; 1 In. 1 :5-9)
Sanctification. Transform my children into Christ’s likeness. Use whatever circumstances You, in Your perfect wisdom, deem necessary to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace in their lives. (2 Cor. 3: 18; Jas. 1 :2-4; Heb. 12:5-11)
Hope and rest. Bathe my children in restful, confident hope as they trust You with their self-worth, relationships, life’s work, and (other concerns). May they overflow with Your peace. (Jer. 29:11; Mt. 11:29-30; Ro. 15:13; Phil. 4:6-7)
Comfort. Through every hardship, may Your Spirit bring tangible consolation to my
children so that they will know that they are not alone. Right now, they need Your comfort
to get through (pray for specific trials or losses). (Mt. 5:4; In. 14:16-18)
Freedom. Guide my children into truth so that they will enjoy genuine freedom. (In. 8:31-32,36)
Friendships. Provide my children with friends who are supportive and truthful. Keep them from relationships that would draw them away from You. (Eccl. 4:9-12; Provo 27:5-6; 1 Cor. 15:33)
Effective parenting. Help me (and my spouse) to be the influence my children need at every stage of their growth. Keep me willing to listen to anything they want to discuss. (Prov. 20:7; Eph. 6:4)
Marriage and children. If it is Your will that my children marry and have children, guide them to godly spouses with whom they will enjoy flourishing relationships. May they pass along a rich heritage to future generations. If they are to remain single, may they experience the joy of living in undivided devotion to You. (Ps. 127:3-5, 128:1-4; 1 Cor. 7:32-35)
A healthy church. Provide my children with a unified prayerful, Bible-teaching church family that will draw them into community, give them a hunger for Your Word, and involve them in Your work. Bless them with spiritual leaders who are trustworthy and humble. (Acts 2:42, 4:32-35; Eph. 4:15-16; 1 Tim. 3:1-13)
Holy Spirit. Fill my children with Your Holy Spirit. Show them how to exercise their spiritual gifts, and enable them to bear all the fruit of Your spirit – love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Eph. 5: 18; Cor. 12:4-31; Gal. 5:22-23)
Influence. Lord, may my children attract many to You as they influence the world with truth and righteousness. (Mt. 5:13-16: Mk. 1:17; 2 Cor. 2:15-16)
Success. As they study and apply Your Word, may my children bear much eternal fruit. Grant them success in (specific God-honoring endeavors). (Josh 1:7-8; In. 15:8; Jas. 1 :25)
Wisdom. Bless my children with wisdom, and give them a constant hunger for more. Fill them with the knowledge of Your Word and Your will. Grant them a life-giving fear of You, for that is where all wisdom begins. (Prov. 3: 13; Jas. 1 :5; Col. 1 :9; Provo 9: 1 0)
Guidance. By the Holy Spirit’s power, lead my children along paths of righteousness. Specifically, guide them in (circumstances your children currently face). Prov. 3:5-6; In. 16:13)
Protection. Keep my children physically safe and healthy, and guard them from the evil one. Help them resist (specific current or future temptation). (Jas.5:14-16; In. 17:15; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Cor. 10:13)
Provision. Supply my children’s earthly needs. At the moment they need _____ (Mt. 6: 11, 25-33; Phil. 4: 19)
Eternity. Remind my children of the eternal rewards You promise. Let this perspective motivate them to lay up treasure in heaven. May they seek first Your kingdom and righteousness by living with integrity and investing generously in the lives of people. (1 Cor. 3:12-14; 2 Cor. 5:1,10; In. 14:2-3; Mt. 6:19-21, 33)
The unimaginable. Gracious Father, shower my children with blessings that exceed my
dreams. May Your love flow abundantly into their lives. (Eph.3:17-20)
I had the privilege of attending a brunch and concert at Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church, June 2013. I was attending the PCA General Assembly as an exhibitor with Five More Talents. A few months ago, I had signed up for the concert and brunch, not realizing Laura Story was going to be there.
Driving in the rain a couple years ago, I heard the song Blessings playing on the radio. I began to cry and wondered who wrote it and if I could ever find all the words.
God had a bigger picture and I was totally surprised to have the privilege of sharing that time with Laura Story. I had my picture taken after we talked a few minutes. Laura also autographed my CD.
When Laura Story penned her now-famous song “Blessings,” she could hardly have imagined the way it would affect people from across the globe; or the acclaim it would bring. Laura won a GRAMMY award for the song – Best Contempary Christian Song in 2012.
At the brunch that morning, Laura shared about her husband’s diagnosis of a brain tumor going into the second year of her marriage. She explained that his vision and memory are still impaired. In the midst of disability, in the context of going through this, Laura sings the song, “Blessings.”