Archive for family culture

God’s Shield and a Heart of Compassion

Psalm 86:15
“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

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Gladness through Sadness

Ecclesiastes 7: 2-4
“It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting,
for this is the end of all mankind,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of face the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”

Gladness through Sadness seems so contrary to all we were told growing up, the messages we hear today in society, and even at times in our churches.  Yet in Ecclesiastes the opposite is proclaimed. Over the past 12 months of my life I have found this to be profoundly true. When I accept my feelings and allow them to flow freely, my heart lightens and gladness returns even in the midst of some of the hardest things I have ever faced. Read More →

The Vital Nature of Transparency

The family that came for Revive’s family camp could not have anticipated the change that would begin with just one week of time, fun and transparency.  The importance of transparency cannot be overstated when it comes to family connection and togetherness.

Transparency is a delicate topic and can strike fear into the hearts of adults. Yet it is vital and must be encouraged, guarded and protected within our homes.  For me becoming transparent required pursuing healing in my own heart because prior to this there were just too many sensitive spots that led to pain that people could trigger in me without meaning anything. I had a strong sense that I needed to protect myself, which of course meant I could share little or nothing about my real life, thoughts or feelings. Unfortunately this is the position I find far too many kids in today with their parents and siblings.

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Essential T’s of Family Connection: Time (pt 4)

When Stephen Covey wrote his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” his second habit was “Begin with the End in View.” That applies to the first blog post in this 5-part series, being Together, or Togetherness. If our GOAL is togetherness we need to visualise more than simply physical proximity, which we can accomplish silently while driving to the store together in the car. Emotional closeness, mutual respect and support, openness to reason together; these and more contribute to a deeper and more broad togetherness experience.

But that type of togetherness must be established on the second T we described: Trust. Trust is the GROUNDWORK that allows us to strive towards greater togetherness in the first place. Without trust family members will hold each other “at arm’s length”, hesitant to really engage on any meaningful level, not wanting to expose themselves to something that might be misunderstood or devalued. Once there is a commitment to trust, and that can be a decision as well as an emotion, we can move towards togetherness.

Even when there is a goal of togetherness and a commitment to trust there must be a GATEWAY to reach the destination, and that we dealt with in part 3: Talk. Community begins  with communication in a healthy way, with a sense of safety, open minds and hearts, respect and positive interaction. Read More →

Essential T’s of Family Connection: Talk (pt 3)

One of the three pillars that lead from Trust to Togetherness:

One of the keys for family connection that builds a sense of togetherness is TALK, simple on its face, but complex in its execution. Our challenge as parents and grandparents is establishing a culture of communication that builds and encourages open communication and togetherness.  We desire to be together but pools of pain within, unsolved issues, and poor communication habits can rob us of what we truly desire. Read More →

Essential T’s of Family Connection: Trust (Pt 2)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart…“.  So begins Proverbs 3:5. And over a hundred times the Bible talks about trusting God. “Sure” you say, “God presents Himself, and is presented as totally trustworthy. He does not lie and is holy and without flaw. Trustworthiness flows out of His perfect character. So that means I can, and should, trust Him.”

But:

Trust is a tricky topic Read More →

Essential T’s of Family Connection (pt 1)

In the Book of Deuteronomy in the Bible God tells Moses “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deut. 6:5-7

Clearly God shares the importance of His instruction, but this exhortation also pictures a family where conversation and closeness occur. In verses 20 and 21 God says, “When your son asks you in time to come, What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you? Then you shall say …” Equally clear, then, is that curious questioning and trusted instruction are involved. Implied in these verses is that the family is to be a place where relationship is of utmost importance, both with God and with one another. Read More →

In the midst of this unprecedented time in our country, parents are having to deal with kids being at home more than ever. When we have adolescents, that can present some challenges, which is why I decided to do the series 9 Insights Parents Need to Know When They are Raising Adolescents.
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Fear and Our Kids

Welcome back to revive families connecting hearts blog. We’ve been in the midst of a series on patience. Given everything going on with the Coronavirus and the fear I see growing, I thought it might be a great time to stop and take a short break from the patience series and talk a little bit about fear and our kids. 

There are many reasons to be fearful and or worry today as may States like California are ordering shelter in place restrictions and businesses to be shut down. There is fear of the virus but also fears about jobs and the economy.  All of these are legitimate concerns, but questions arise; how do we deal with our fears and how do we handle them with our kids? Read More →

Patience is so important for our lives and health.  It will impact the quality of our relationships and the culture of our families. This week we’re exploring how patience and personality type interacts with each other. 

In our first week we looked at research that proves that it’s the relationship we have with our kids that actually protects them, not the way we approach them or our boundaries and consequences. Second we revealed that Impatience is on our side of the ledger. It’s not a result of our kid’s behavior. Finally we explored why the root of impatience is selfishness. Impatience comes when our goals and objectives are impeded or they’re not happening in a timely manner.

In week two we talked about Patience and Triggers. Triggers are really important to understand because they override our best intentions and self control. When we trigger, we will overreact. We looked at self awareness strategies that help us head triggers off at the pass. Then we discussed deeper healing so we are not constantly expending energy trying to catch ourselves.

As we think about patience and our personalities, we need to recognize that some personality types will naturally exhibit more patience than others. If you’re like me and find yourself on the other side of the equation, that’s ok. We’re going to explore why and what we can do to alter the focus and priorities to help us understand and become more patient moms and dads.

I throw myself into this for a reason.  Patience was difficult for me given my natural personality.  It took a concerted effort to become a more patient, compassionate person.  As a result, I now see patience and compassion being tied together.  When we have little compassion for others feelings, we tend to have less patience with them.   Read More →

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