Advice To My Youngest On Turning 13

Dearest Cayley,

Photos for Blog

I can never say I Love You enough nor will I stop ;-) It’s crazy you are now thirteen. What would I be doing once your sisters left home if you had not come along? How blessed I am to be given a second chance at mothering. In some ways I have grown and often times I feel green.  You are very unique and so different from your sisters.  A decade later I have found that technology has changed the parenting dilemma.  Regardless, I know God choose to bless us with you for such a time as this.  Together we sharpen one another. So I complied 10 thoughts I desire for you to remember as you continue your life journey.

P1100845

1) Never forget you are fearfully and wonderfully made, yes made in the imagine of Christ who delights over you as He is a masterful creator.   (Psalm 139:13-16Ephesians 2:10 ) Comparison is the joy killer of being content with your many beautiful features. Never allow the media or others to dictate what true beauty should look like.

Baptism Cayley and Riley's 54

2) Love the Lord with all your heart and get into the habit of beginning your days by putting Him first. You will often feel that there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Time is something we all treasure, something we wish we had more of, but it just seems to slip so quickly through our fingers. We think if only I had more time I would spend it praying or reading the Bible, helping people, or making a difference.  (Proverbs 16:3; Luke 4:42, Matthew 14:13)  The poem The Difference is a good reminder of keeping God first.

Photos for Blog

3) Remember to love and listen to your sisters as they are two of the wisest women I know.  Support one another. Talk to one another regularly by being the initiator as you have more free time. Be there when they need you and they’ll be there for you. They really do love you that is why they both flew in to surprise you for your 13th birthday. Sisters are forever friends.P1050675

4) Be bold, take chances as those who don’t take chances don’t make advances. Dream big because you serve a BIG God. Strive to reach the full potential of your calling in life. (Jeremiah 29:11).   Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to everyone through your speech,  by the way you live your life, in your authentic love, your faith, and your purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

P1040446

5) Continue to travel while you are young. We hope that through our various family excursions we have given you a love for adventure, exposed you to various cultures, taken you out of your comfort zone, and shown you how big and yet small the world is. May you bring the good news to those wherever you go in the future. Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15

IMG_2795

6) Enjoy life! Gather often with your friends, have fun, laugh a lot and enjoy the relationships God has given you. Also your best friends will be those who bring out the best in you. Never substitute face-to-face interaction with that of the internet or social media. According to a study, people are happier and laugh 50% more when talking face-to-face with friends or via webcam than when they use social networking sites.

IMG_2253

Cari, Cayley, & Laurena

7) Cherish your human connections with friends and mentors who invest deeply into your life and you will grow wiser and richer.  Appreciate and remember those who have poured richly into your life (your sisters, grandparents, teachers, Sarah T. Danielle A., Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Teresa, Ritz, Mrs. Cheryl D., Grandma Coleen). Allow them to speak truth into your life so you can learn something new. Proverbs 13:20

IMG_1760

8) We love you unconditionally, always, and forever. No one will ever love you like your dad and I love you.

Read More

Read More

9) Be humble, teachable, and enjoy the learning process. Be a lover of learning as you gain the education needed to carry out the tasks for which God has designed you.  (Proverbs 9:9; 12:15; 11:14; 19:20-21; 15:22; Psalm 1:1-5).

Some of my greatest lessons have been learned through the pages of books. I have gained incredible insight, knowledge, and experience of various authors.  Reading exposes you to a world of imagination, showing you nothing is impossible.

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” Charles William Eliot

IMG_2833

10) Smile a lot and keep singing God’s praises. A smile draws others to you. The joy and love of the Lord are yours – so smile! Aim for joy found when putting Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last which creates true JOY. Being happy and enthusiastic is always a good choice and the joy of the Lord is your strength.   (Psalm 28:7; Nehemiah 8:10)

IMG_2841

In conclusion, do all things with Love. Love is so important to God that is is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. Love is referred to as the greatest commandment of all. Christ is love. John 13: 34-35 As we learn to love God’s way we provide the world with a tangible picture of Christ to the world.

I look forward to finishing the book Love As A Way of Life by Dr. Gary Chapman who writes, “Love is an attitude, that says, “I choose to focus my life on helping others.”  I appreciate those who use the following seven characteristics to define a loving person providing so much room to grow:

  • Kindness: Discovering the Joy of Helping Others
  • Patience: Accepting the Imperfections of Others
  • Forgiveness: Finding Freedom from the Grip of Anger. Life’s way too short to constantly be mad at someone.
  • Courtesy: Treating Others as Friends
  • Humility: Stepping Down So Someone Else Can Step Up
  • Generosity: Giving Yourself to Others
  • Honesty: Revealing Who You Really Are

IMG_1736 - Version 2

 

Using Books to Instill Character

character

I giddily look forward to the first Wednesday of each month, because I have the privilege of sharing life with a group of amazing women. Recently, we have been reading through Love As a Way of Life by Gary Chapman. Essentially, this book has taken us through seven character traits including: Kindness, patience, forgiveness, honor, humility, generosity, and honesty. When these character traits are put into action, it naturally demonstrates authentic love. This is something that everyone can benefit from.

Character training starts at home and should begin early.

One of the best ways to teach character is to surround your children with good literature. Simply put, read to your kids. When you read to your children, it opens the door for conversations to ensue. Stories have the ability to teach, motive, and inspire our children to dream bigger.

There are so many wonderful books that can help teach our children about love, honor, respect, fairness, caring and responsibility. Below is a resource, that I compiled, to help you discover some great websites and books.

TEACHING CHARACTER Through Books

Character is the inward values that determine outward actions; the mental model used for making decisions; the moral compass that guides your choices; who we are when no one else is watching.

Below are numerous resources regarding character that has somehow benefited my family and me.  Please know that while I have enjoyed these resources I do not necessarily agree with ALL content presented. While some authors may be extremely conservative or liberal,  I read seeking what I feel the Holy Spirit has convicted me to implement for the Werner family and I trust you will do the same.
Character First This is one of my family’s favorite resources especially as my girls began school. I continue to use the character booklets.
Doorpost
  • Instruction for Righteousness is a topical reference guide for biblical child training.
  • Polished Cornerstones
  • The If-Then Chart
  • The Blessing Chart
  • The Go To The Ant Chart – understanding diligences and laziness.
  • The Brother Offender Chart – teaching children conflict resolution in a Godly way.
  • Be sure to check out the package deals.
Character in Action I have not personally used this website but I did look it over and it has great content.
Family Ministries   by Reb Bradley You will find many available products so I have listed below the resources that have personally benefited me.

  • Child Training Tips What, I wish I knew when my children were young.
  • The Delightful Family
  • Managing the Mouth: Victory over complaining, arguing, and other poisons of the tongue.
  • Motives of the Heart.  A biblical study on pride and humility.  This seriously was life changing.
  • Teaching Children to Love One Another
  • Creating A Strong Family Identity
  • God, TV, and Your Family
Family Life Today Encouragement and practical help for you personally, for your marriage, and raising your parenting. So many great articles and resources.
Focus on the Family
  • Kids of Integrity tools for growing Godly character.
  • Kids Clubhouse
  • Adventures in Odyssey
  • Focus on the Family has lots of wonderful family resources.  Catch their daily message via the Internet.
Institute in Basic Life Principles
Lamplighter Publishing The mission of Lamplighter Ministries is “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, by building Christ-like character one story at a time.” This is a wonderful resource for parents on Character Development born out of 25 years of research and personal experience. They carry many old and rare books highlighting various character traits.
Whole Heart Ministries Clay and Sally Clarkson I am bias as I adore this ministry given Sally has been my mentor from afar since 1997. Five years ago she became my real life friend ;-)  My husband and I serve on the board of WHM and recommend all of their resources Whole Heartily.

 

CBDAmazon Other Misc. books and resource titles I’ve enjoyed. I usually shop at CBD, Amazon, and Half Price Books.  Keep a list of resources you desire as you can find really good deals at Goodwill, yard sales, home school used book sales, etc…

  • Wise Words for Little People by Kenneth Taylor (preschool age)
  • Big Thoughts for Little People by Kenneth Taylor  (preschool age)
  • Berenstain Bears  (preschool age)
  • Jungle Jam and Friends The Radio Show (listen free weekly) or buy CD’s (all ages)
  • Adventure in Odyssey Radio Talk Show by Focus on the Family (elementary age)
  • Veggie Tales (videos) (all ages)
  • Uncle Arthur’s Story Time These are classic stories that help children develop positive character traits and Christian values.  Hard to find but worth having.  Children as young as 2 will listen to and enjoy the Story Time.  Stories can be shorten.
  • Choice Stories for Children by Ernest Lloyd I am not sure if you will be able to find it.
  • Day by Day Devotion by Karen Henley
  • A Hive of Busy Bees 5-10 by AB Publishing
  • Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character… In You and Your Kids by Scott Turansky
  • While They are Sleeping: 12 Character Traits to Pray for Your Child by Ann Arkins, Gary Harrell
  • God’s Wisdom for Little Boys by Elizabeth George
  • God’s Wisdom for Little Girls by Elizabeth George
  • Young Peacemakers Series by Corlette Sande   FORGIVENESS Recommended for grades 3-7
  • Proverbs People: Book 1 and 2 by Rick Boyer
  • Books That Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values Through Stories by Robert Coles.
  • A Child’s Book of Character by Ron Coriell
  • Read For The Heart, Whole Books For Wholehearted Families by Sarah Clarkson  (A Great Resource when decided on books to read and purchase.≠)
  • A Little Book of Manners for Girls by Emily Barnes
  • A Little Book of Manners for Boys by Emily Barnes
  • Wisdom and the Millers by Mildred A Martin

Using Biographies and books about Christian hero’s to teach Character.

  • Hero Tales volume 1, 2, & 3 by Dave & Neta Jackson
  • Trailblazer Series by Dave & Neta Jackson
  • Christian Heroes, Then & Now by Janet & Geoff Benge (YWAM Publishing)
  • The Sowers Series

Please share books and resources that your family has found helpful.  If you would like a PDF of the recommended resources leave me your email and I will send it to you.

 

 

Photos from Raising Generations Today

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to God.

As I reflect on my experience last weekend at the Raising Generations Today Conference in Corning, NY, I am filled with joy and thanks. It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words so below is my story along with a few comments.

RGT

Proverbs 11:25 “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”

IMG_2555

Caryn and I at the Detroit airport. We had over an hour together.

I began my trip with an unexpected opportunity to spend an hour with my eldest daughter at the Detroit airport.  I had not even considered the possibility of seeing her until the day before when I realized I was flying through Detroit. I left her a voice message saying, “I will have a two hour layover at the Detroit airport but I know you are probably busy and an hour (as I calculated the time of getting to her and back through security) is not much time for the hassle of trying to connect.” She called back saying, “Mom, are you kidding me! Even if we had only 15 minutes to see each other I will be there.”  :-)

P1100725

Stacy, Kelly, Me, Angie and Elisa

Above are just a few of the amazing women I was able to spend time with. It was delightful to hear the impact they each are having where God has placed them.  Thank you God for you have strategically placed each of us exactly where we are to be life givers. We each bring the good news of life, love, and salvation to our sphere of influence.

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all’s well,
proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
telling Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

P1100740

There was much attention given to conference details from a quiet prayer room, to a gathering room with comfy sofas to visit with one another.  There were lots of yummy desserts provided by the local Poppleton Bakery.  I was so thankful for a delicious spread of sweets. It was encouraging to sit around Friday evening chatting.

RGT2

P1100749

Me, September and Michelle

 

RGT4

P1100752

Me and Lisa

I am thankful for the many new friendships and connections made last weekend.  I eagerly anticipate God allowing many of us to meet again soon but until then continue to invest deeply into your family as you bring up the next generation.

Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth,
bend your ears to what I tell you.
I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb;
I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,
Stories we heard from our fathers,
counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
we’re passing it along to the next generation
God’s fame and fortune,
the marvelous things he has done.

He planted a witness in Jacob,
set his Word firmly in Israel,
Then commanded our parents
to teach it to their children
So the next generation would know,
and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories
so their children can trust in God,
Never forget the works of God
but keep his commands to the letter.  (Psalm 78:1-7 The Message)