Casting The Vision For A New Year

A new year! One of my favorite things about beginning a new year, is the chance for a fresh start. A time to reflect on the past and begin casting a vision for a new year. This allows you to look forward to what the next year might bring.

Casting a vision for the New Year that is inline with your Christian faith and family priorities. ConnieAlbers.com

New Year’s resolutions abound every January.  Do you make any?  I’ve been known to make, and break, a few!

Many resolutions focus on something we can do better, whether it’s losing weight, eating healthier, making more money, or having a better outlook on life.

Instead of focusing solely on what I can improve upon, our family would  focus on where we are as a family and where would we like to be in the future. With an emphasis on relationships within the family unit.
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5 Secrets to Homeschooling with Success

5 secrets to homeschooling success to equip you on your homeschool journey. Homeschool encouragement from ConnieAlbers.com

 5 Secrets to Homeschooling with Success

School is in full swing! For some of you bad attitudes, resistance and discouragement have already derailed your well thought out schedule. It’s okay. Those days do happen. Especially when you begin the new school year. By focusing on the five secrets that helped me cross the finish line with all five of my children you can get back on track more quickly.

Homeschooling for 21 years has given me a unique perspective. I have experienced the first-time fears and doubts associated with starting something new, worked my way through the high school years, managed five children on different levels, navigated the college admissions process and sent all five off to college.

I want to encourage you as you begin your new year to keep your eye on the end goal. Don’t be short-sighted. Be mindful of the values, character qualities, and academic pursuits you have in mind.

These are five points I intentionally focused on as I began each year:

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Monitoring Your Mouth

Monitoring your mouth according to God's will. ConnieAlbers.com

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and a new year, it is easy to get caught up in the stress and anxiety of creating those perfect memories for your family.  Kids are overtired, everyone is home together more often, extended family sometimes comes to stay, schedules are different, and the stress of it all sometimes has mom exhausted!

If there’s one key idea I’ve learned during my parenting journey, it’s that we should not react in anger to situations that come up with our children.  Too often we do react in anger, and we hurt our children with our words.  The best advice I can give is to s-l-o-w- down and take some time to really listen to your children.  God’s word clearly says to be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19).  So make sure you take the time to truly hear what your children are saying.  This must be done intentionally.  That’s right – you must put the iPhone down, disconnect from that tablet, look up from your stack of post-holiday bills and really focus on your child, face-to-face. (more…)

Listen Up

Listen up! I love this encouragement for listening to our children, truly listening to them. ConnieAlbers.com

Learning to listen to your children is one of the most important things you can do to strengthen your relationship. Your children need you, no matter their age, and will continue to need you even as they reach adulthood and begin their own families.  One of the ways you can be there for them is to listen to them.  Truly listen.

This is difficult, I know.  There are a lot of people and activities competing for our time that create a number of hindrances to really listening.  Here are a few I’ve noticed in my own life: (more…)

They Still Call Mom

In a world full of devices and non-stop connecting…They still call Mom.

 

As our children age they still need Mom. Not mommy or mama, but simply Mom. Mom is a place of comfort and support. We are Moms for life. ConnieAlbers.com

One day you are wrapping your arms around your child to comfort them for a skinned elbow, or making them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or putting on a colorful Band-Aid that fixes anything.  Now, you are receiving late night texts from your young adult child asking for prayer about a heart-breaking relationship. It appears our older, wiser mentors were right when they said, “Challenges of parenting do not go away when the kids get older; they just get more complex.”

This is what I was told many times.

Now that my children are older I find myself echoing similar statements.

In my early years of parenting, when I passed up opportunities to be more involved outside the home, I questioned my decisions.

Invitations to sit on boards in the community or serve on committees at church were carefully considered so that I could have the  time, and energy to avail myself to training the hearts of my children and cultivating our relationships.  The early morning time readings, conversations and prayers, the talk-time in the cars on the way to co-ops and sporting events, the hanging out on the couch in the very late evenings because that’s when they liked to open up and share their deepest thoughts—all these cumulative moments and hours helped cultivate a heart in my children to maintain a relationship with me even now.

When they were younger, the focus was on teaching worldviews, Biblical truths, and basic life disciplines.  That focus continues but now with more emphasis on listening, encouraging and supporting.   It is a rich blessing, a high calling and a beautiful ministry.

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