Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How to Parent a Fireball

What a day today!  Have I written yet about my fireball little boy?  I purposefully don't use the word strong-willed, and some of you may smile, but here's the reason why....  I believe we all have strong wills.  Some of just present them a little differently depending on who we're with and who we're in agreement with. 

Little green plants are very easy to train, they're young, soft and easy to bend.  As they mature they keep whatever shape they've been allowed to form.  But some plants are fiery hot pepper plants, and others are sweet juicy berries, and others very practical lettuces and so forth. 
Planting some grass clippings...

What a good boy I am!

I could get used to this sort of attention....

I'm thinking that God wouldn't dare place in any family two "fireballs."  Have you ever had an "Atomic Fireball" jaw breaker when you were young?  They started out sweet and with a nice cinnamon flavor and then they got so hot they made your eyes water and your mouth burn and sometimes you'd even have to remove them so you could catch your breath and drink a glass of water?  Then you popped it in your mouth and by the time you finished it off it would leave a sweet taste?  This is why I lovingly call my second son a "Fireball."  I always have a sweet feeling in my heart for him, but whew, it's those fiery moments that leave me panting and bewildered at times.

Well, today he was fired up again and this time I had an Inspector present, inspecting the work that "Interior Weatherization" of Alaska completed in our home.  He arrived at 12:30 and left about 3:00.  Well, he got a glimpse of everything, let me tell you..... I even had to announce, "I am now going to exercise my legal right to spank my child...."  I've never had to do this before, announce my right, that is, but in this day and age, you never know and I'm so glad that in Alaska our rights have not been taken away. 

He totally understood, was not offended and probably relieved that I loved my son enough to give him what he needed... correction.  I simply went and got the spank spoon, without being angry, just a bit uncomfortable at the witness and took my reluctant boy by the hand and gave him 3 swats.  That's all it took.  Yes, there were the signs of repentant tears and some howling, but it was all over in less than 10 minutes and our relationship was restored.  He apologized to me and we moved on with no more major problems for the day.  Notice I use the word.... major:)

I'm so thankful for the wisdom God has recorded for us in Scripture about how to raise children successfully.  I looked up the word successful and it means to finish something to completion.  Parenting is not finished for a long long time.  Sometimes we experience a fleeting moment of what we thought worked, and then realize later we were gravely mistaken.  Other times, we experience hurt and frustration but we keep going, trusting in God's truth and His grace and at the end of this we begin to see fruit.  It depends on what it is that we working on, but we have to trust Him at His word. 

We have teenagers in our home and I can truthfully say, I'm so blessed by them!  God's word does not fail.  His truth is real and it works.  Some people laugh and mock and make snide remarks that I am expecting our 7th child.  All I can say is what an honor and joy to raise another human being to love his neighbor as himself and love the Lord his God with all his heart, soul and mind.  Everyone will worship something or several things.  We human's have souls that were born to worship.... some themselves, their accomplishments, their ideas, hopes or dreams, and yet others will choose and obey God. 
Developing their tastes for all natural homemade ice cream...

Developing their tastes for teamwork and fresh air...

I'm contributing at an early age to my family and I'm happy with work.... usually.

Do you know you can raise a child and help to develop their taste for something?  What you've been raised with gives you a desire for those same things. 

What taste buds are you developing in your children?  What books and topics do you read and discuss and are important in your home?  Listen to conversations and you'll learn what is truly important to people.  Are you raising them to be peacemakers or war embracers?  Thankful for military and the freedoms they have fought for, or ungrateful for others sacrifices?  Opinionated or caring?  Inward focused or others focused?  A servant's heart or an overlord?  A follower or a leader?  Even in the little things like music, dress, hobbies, art, reading, problem solving, worship, singing, even how they will carry themselves and the manners and character traits that they will exhibit can be shaped by the people in their lives for good or bad. 

The power of a parent is underestimated in this world and has been substituted by many people for underpaid nursery and child care workers.  Perhaps it is because Mother's Day is around the corner that I'm thinking about these things. 

One of my favorite pictures of my Mom

My Mother gave us good tastes in the value and study of God's creation, nature hikes, and curious minds.  She taught us to be frugal.  She grew and canned most of her food.  She taught us to memorize and study Scripture and encouraged us to attend CYIA summer camp.  She wasn't out saving the world or gallivanting around the globe. She listened to the Christian broadcast on the radio while working in her kitchen.  She prayed a lot and wore her Bibles out by reading and underlining everything.  She didn't have a lot of time to study politics or the latest science discoveries, but she did have time to read to us pioneer adventures and other exciting stories almost every evening and cook us homemade healthy meals.  She was home and she was practical and cared for us the best way she knew how.  My Father completely supported her in her stay at home role. They're not perfect, neither am I nor anyone else, but we try and we don't give up learning to be better parents and worthy of the calling that we have received from God... born again believers, passing that on to our children.

Our work as Mothers often goes unnoticed my mankind and even held in contempt and not valued properly or understood.  BUT, it's OK, because God in heaven, misses nothing.  He saw my Mother hard at work each day and my challenges today.  He gives me victory over fear.  He gives me grace in each and every moment and trial I must undergo.  Believe me, there's a lot of mounting craziness sometimes around here amidst remodeling and baby coming, weeks of various sicknesses, and barely having time to get settled.

He is there through it all, giving me wisdom in the moment and understanding in the pondering and the reading of His word and prayer.  Every new experience brings with it a new level of knowledge that I hadn't gained before. 


  1. What an inspiration and joy to read about your wonderful mother, and how you are now passing the truth, discipline and blessing into a new generation. I enjoy your lovely blog and your sweet (even fireball) family.
    Shirley in Virginia

  2. Thank-you, I'm glad to be a conduit for joy and inspiration and I am likewise blessed by reading others blogs! Isn't this wonderful? It's just a small taste of eternity and think of all that we'll get to hear about how God has worked in everyone's lives from beginning to end. That will take an eternity!

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post, and the genuine heartfelt love that flows through what you have to say. Little "fireballs" are always a challenge, but it is usually the "fireballs" that bring so much trouble when they are young, that after they are grown, bring so much joy back home. I had a dear friend who was the mother of 10 children, and the child that she felt she could pull her hair out over, ended up being such a blessing to her later in life, and was there for her more than any of her other children. You have the right attitude, and the Lord will bless your heart of love as you pour it out on your family, just as your lovely mother and father did. Thank you for sharing your wise words and thoughts today!

    1. Thank-you, you have given me hope:) We named him after A.W. Tozer and I would have loved to ask his Mother what type of little boy he was!

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