Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of Year Reflections

One of my goals in life is to age gracefully. As I do a little “end of the year” reflection on this goal, I see in the mirror, that God is providing the aging; I choose graceful.

I had my youngest daughter when I was thirty-six. The first Sunday I took her to church, a visitor came up and admired my cute “grandchild.” It was probably good that I was exhausted. It gave me time to go from “stunned” to “gracious” without becoming offended.

When I was a teenager with long blonde hair, I read Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” I was attracted to that concept and made a commitment at that time to not dye my hair, as well as live a righteous life. Over the years, I watched the “gray-headed” women at church gatherings, and appreciated their wisdom. When I was in my forties, God sent me a little test as my hair started to gray. In the course of one week, three people—my hairdresser, my husband, and my mother-in-law--independently asked me if I’d ever considered dying my hair. I kept to my youthful commitment and have never dyed my hair.

Gray hair does have its advantages in the “senior discount” area. I would tell the clerk that I didn’t qualify, and they’d be so embarrassed at their error, that they’d give me the discount anyway.

I was also inspired by Deuteronomy 34:7, “Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated.” I do not believe that you have to be diseased, just because you are getting older. After much reading about being healthy, I came to the conclusion that I should not waste my time on changing philosophies, but rather rely on what the Bible says about how to eat.

One other goal I have for a fulfilling life is in Matthew 6:34, paraphrased, “Live each day for its own.” Although I do many things, my goal is to be present in each current situation. Many years ago I heard Zig Ziglar talk about people at work wishing they were home, and people at home thinking about their work, and he concluded, “they ain’t never nowhere.”

What are your life goals and what “end of year” reflections do you have?

God bless…

Millie McNabb, B.A., B.Mus.

Strategies and support for parents who are intentionally raising children to become Christian adults. www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com

Is your greatest desire to have your children become gracious, mature, productive Christian adults?

Are you concerned that your children might miss, dismiss, or reject your Christian values?

Millie McNabb, founder of Christian Values Legacy, offers parenting seminars that focus on passing on your Christian values. Request your free report “Considerations for Intentionally Raising Children to Become Christian Adults” today at www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Seven Ways to Tell if Your Child is Rejecting Your Values

I was shocked when I read that 61% of young adults who were churched as teenagers are now spiritually disengaged. How did this kind of values rejection get past the parents?

Rebellion can be very obvious, such as is expressed in Isaiah 3:8-9:
“…Their speech and their actions are against the LORD…the expression of their faces bears witness against them.”

Rebellion can also be very subtle. Jesus poses the question in Matthew 21:28-32 about a father who asked his two sons to go work in the vineyard. The first son said, “I will, sir”; and he did not go. The second son answered “I will not”; but he reconsidered and went. Jesus asked, “Which of the two did the will of his father?” The listeners replied, “The latter.”

My article “Seven Ways to Tell if Your Child is Rejecting Your Values” addresses these more subtle forms of rebellion. Recognizing these signs, is a first step in intercepting a child’s “values rejection.” Read the full article under “resources” at my website.

We had “code words” that we used as reminders to our children to help them keep their attitudes in check. Many times just using those words would be adequate to correct a child. I remember one daughter becoming offended and starting to glare. I said, “Snake eyes,” and smiled, and the little glare melted away.

What parenting techniques have you used to keep attitude in check?

God bless….

Millie McNabb, B.A., B.Mus.

Strategies and support for parents who are intentionally raising children to become Christian adults. www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wait on the Lord

As children we used to test the packages under the tree, trying to guess what might be inside them, as we looked forward to Christmas morning. One of my brothers picked up a soft package with his name, and exclaimed, “Clothes? Who’s giving me clothes?” Later, he was delighted with the sweatshirt with the University of Idaho Vandal on it.

Most of my Christmas shopping this year has been online. That adds another level of anticipation, as I await the gifts to arrive. A delivery came to our door after 7pm last night, and I’ve seen different carriers out late throughout December. Then there is the anticipation of others opening the gifts and enjoying what you chose for them.

Someone described this childlike anticipation of Christmas, this “wait” for Christmas, as what it means for us to “wait” on the Lord. The anticipation energizes us.
“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew [their] strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” ( Isaiah 40:31.)

What are you waiting for?

God bless….

Millie McNabb, founder of Christian Values Legacy, offers parenting seminars that focus on passing on your Christian values. Request your free report “Considerations for Intentionally Raising Children to Become Christian Adults” today at www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Deck the Halls

My daughter and I put up the Christmas tree today. The tree is full of ornaments made by the girls or given to us through the years. The top branches have the honor of holding the breakable items. The lower branches host the more durable d├ęcor, as a safeguard for inquisitive grandchildren.

Getting the tree was a family event as I grew up. We lived on a farm that included forested area along the Snake River. The whole family would trek out through the woods, looking for the perfect tree. We’d see one in the distance and then discover as we got closer, that it was two trees growing close together. We also had to be size-sensitive—a tree that looked great out in the open, might not fit in the house at all. My mother always liked a spruce with the little berries on it.

Most often, we’d top a tree. After the top was cut off, my father would leave the nicest looking top branch on the remaining tree, and saw off all other branches three feet below that. The tree would then grow another top from the branch my father left. Eight or so years later, it might be selected again for our Christmas tree.

Back at the house, we’d anchor the tree in a five-gallon bucket of dirt. Sometimes my brother would drill holes in the trunk and cleverly add branches to the inevitable bare spots. Then after the tree was positioned to everyone’s satisfaction in front of the big picture window, the decorating would begin.
The lights and the star went on first under my father’s supervision. My parents were married during World War II. They did not have enough money for tree ornaments and my father made a star out of a tin can to top their tree. That star graced our tree as long as I can remember.

After the lights were strung, my mother sat by the decorations box, putting on hangers and handing out decorations. The six of us kids would go back and forth between her and the tree until all the ornaments were hung. Then with only the tree lights glowing, we’d sit and sing Christmas carols together.

Traditions, songs and festivities go together. The Bible describes such a time for the Israelites. “You will have songs as in the night when you keep the festival, And gladness of heart as when one marches to {the sound of} the flute, To go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel” (Isaiah 30:29.)

What Christmas traditions were special to you as a child?

God bless….

Millie McNabb, B.A., B.Mus.

Strategies and support for parents who are intentionally raising children to become Christian adults. www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Many Counselors

The temperature is hovering just above zero, and we had snow today. It was somewhat surreal driving home after dark. The road was ice-coated with snow over the top. There were ruts in the snow, which were partially filled with drifted snow. The drifts would pull the car to one side or the other, as I encountered them.

It brought to mind a conversation I’d had with my mother-in-law years ago. I was going into town in the wintertime, and she asked me which way I was going. I told her, and she said, “I don’t go that way when it’s slick. You have to stop at that intersection, and then when you turn right, it’s hard to get up that hill.” I hardly noticed the hill in summertime driving, but in the winter, it was significant. I chose a different route.

Whether it’s driving conditions or parenting, it’s good to have someone with experience to advise you. As the Bible says, “With many counselors, plans succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)

Who are some of the counselors that you have had in life?

God bless….

Millie McNabb, founder of Christian Values Legacy, offers coaching for individuals, couples, parents, teachers, and homeschoolers. http://www.christianvalueslegacy.com./

Monday, December 15, 2008

So Choose Life

I was chauffeuring my daughter and grand-daughters to their weekly church kids club. There is a Mexican fast-food restaurant near the church where we sometimes stop for a snack. As we were driving, I said to them, “I know that you girls like to have a snack after kids club. Tonight, if you are pleasant and obedient when I come back to pick you up, we’ll stop and get a snack.”

When I picked them up, the three-year old had her shoes and coat on, along with a big smile on her face. She walked right up to me and said she was ready to go. The two-year-old, however, ran and hid when told to put on her shoes. After we got the girls in the car, my daughter and I decided that the best way to honor my offer was to split forces.

We pulled up to the restaurant, and I got the older one out of the car. I said to the younger one, “I’m sorry that you can’t go with us this time because you disobeyed. I hope that next time you will choose to obey your mother. This time you’ll have to wait here in the car with Mommy.”

God outlined the choice for the Israelites before they went into the promised land. Part of Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life….”

Share your story about children and choices.

God bless….

Millie McNabb, BA, BMus

Millie McNabb, founder of Christian Values Legacy, offers parenting seminars that focus on passing on your Christian values. Request your free report “Considerations for Intentionally Raising Children to Become Christian Adults” today at www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Sense of Adventure

There was a prize giveaway at the mall Saturday, and our daughter was chosen to be one of twenty-five contestants. Each contestant had an opportunity to get elbow-deep in mashed potatoes and gravy, searching for numbered golf balls. After all the golf balls had been retrieved, they announced and awarded prizes that had been pre-associated with the numbers. Our daughter won hair cut certificates. The grand winner got a dirt bike, and he was ecstatic.

I remember a church Christmas party when the girls were little. The organizer asked for volunteers to perform “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” This same daughter, about age 5, joined the group without hesitation. She has exhibited this sense of adventure in many ways through the years.

From an early age, our children reveal their God-given design or temperament. As parents, we want to recognize those tendencies and encourage our children to grow in the way that they are “strongly inclined” (Proverbs 22:6.)

What traits did you recognize early on in your children, and how did you encourage them in developing those traits?

God bless…

Millie McNabb, BA, BMus

Temperament Profiles, strategies and coaching for parents who are intentionally raising children to become Christian adults. www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Shortcuts or Right Road?

They’re re-doing the parking lot at one of the malls. It’s one of those lots where the “road” is around the outer edge, so everyone cuts across the parking spaces. The new design has landscaped dividers, which will force the traffic back on the road. It will be interesting to see the response of the patrons when the work is done. Will the added beauty offset the annoyance of having to drive a longer distance?

We don’t always appreciate the boundaries others set for us. We want the shortcuts. We want our own way, even with God. Ezekial 33:17 says, "Yet your fellow citizens say, 'The way of the Lord is not right,' when it is their own way that is not right.” Staying on the road with a Biblical standard may seem like the long way around, and we will meet with resistance from our fellow citizens, but it is the right road.

Have you encountered fellow citizens who say, “The way of the Lord is not right”?

God bless….

Millie McNabb, founder of Christian Values Legacy, offers parenting seminars that focus on passing on your Christian values. Request your free report “Considerations for Intentionally Raising Children to Become Christian Adults” today at www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reminders

We just replaced our coffee table. It was the last piece of our “Early American Mobile Home” furniture we had when we married thirty-two years ago. It made the trek with us from Pocatello to Spokane, to Bremerton, to Baltimore and back to Idaho.

The table was just the right height for four little girls and their friends to sit and color, sitting on the stools Grandpa and Grandma got for them. It also served as the children’s dining table whenever it got too crowded at the main table.

When the girls were small, it was a wonderful cave. We’d put a blanket over it, and it made a delightful place to hide away. It was also a great tunnel for follow-the-leader.

I appreciate the “reminders” in our lives like the table: reminders of people who have touched our lives; reminders of family times together; reminders of God’s blessings through the years. Deuteronomy 6:9 talks about writing God’s law on our doorpost as a reminder, so that we don’t forget God when everything is going well.

What are some of the “reminders” in your life?

God bless…

Millie McNabb, B.A., B.Mus.

Strategies and support for parents who are intentionally raising children to become Christian adults. http://www.christianvalueslegacy.com/

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Temperamental Adjustment

Brrr! I was just taking a shower to warm up after being out in the cold weather. (We have snow on the ground.) I was “bonding” with the water, as my daughter says, and reached down to warm it up a bit. Suddenly, the water went cold. I overcame the shock, and quickly readjusted the temperature.

The cold water is temperamental. The valve has a spot near shut-off, where it lets a greater volume of cold water through. Usually I remember to compensate for that spot, but tonight I forgot.

We all have, and know people who have, “temperamental” spots. We get to know those spots, and compensate for those idiosyncrasies. That’s part of temperament coaching. That’s part of a love relationship. “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8.)

Have you had to make temperamental adjustments in your relationships?

God bless…

Millie McNabb, B.A., B.Mus.

Temperament coaching for individuals, couples, parents, teachers and homeschoolers. www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com

Monday, December 8, 2008

Deserving a Break

Yesterday I took my grand-daughters to our local playland/restaurant. They ate about half of their food, and then headed into the play area. They climbed to the top tier, came down the curly slide, explored the nooks and crannies, and periodically got my attention to “Look at me.” After about 30 minutes, I gave them the "5 more minutes" notice.

Then my adventure began. Usually they're pretty good about coming when I then say it's time to go. However, yesterday, I had to capture the two-year-old to put her shoes and coat on. When I let her go, she ran into the caged area and threw herself flat on the floor. I picked her up by the back of the coat and hauled her out.

Then the three-year-old escaped, giggling, into the little playhouse. I would be at risk of getting stuck going in after her, so with the younger one under one arm, I got the older one’s shoes and coat gathered up, and waited just out of sight for her to poke her nose out. When she did, I scooped her up. She started hollering, and we headed for the car.

Lesson #1: Don't take young children out at naptime.
Lesson #2: If you ignore lesson #1, take another adult with you.

I invite you to share your adventures with unruly children in public.

God bless…


Millie McNabb, B.A., B.Mus.

Strategies and support for parents who are intentionally raising children to become Christian adults. www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Serve God in Your Generation

Today we attended the funeral of a great-Aunt. She lived to be 99, close to her goal of 100. She was the last one of her generation, and had out-lived several in the following generation. She was a people person with a broad range of interests and a positive attitude.

We’re fascinated by those who live a long life. The current oldest living person in the world is 115. Both of my grandmothers lived into their 90’s. The real question is not how long you live, but do you live well in the time you have.

King David lived about 80 years. I’ve always liked his epitaph: "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep….” Acts 13:36

How are you serving God in your generation?

God bless….

Millie McNabb, B.A., B.Mus.

Strategies and support for parents who are intentionally raising children to become Christian adults. www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sow in Tears, Reap in Joy

I’m reading Jeremiah now in my personal Bible reading. Jeremiah is known as “The Weeping Prophet.” It brought to mind “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting” in Psalm 126:5.

I was a tomboy growing up. When I was in first or second grade, I fell on the playground, and got an ugly scrape on my forearm. However, I didn’t cry. Several classmates made comments like, “Ooh, you’re so brave. That must hurt, and you’re not crying.” I began to make it a matter of pride not to cry—not just for pain, but for any situation.

When I was in college, I came to the realization that I was crying for books and movies, but not for real life. I also realized that when I cut off tears, I became emotionally neutral, which also cut off joy. I intentionally started the journey back of allowing myself to cry.

Tears are evoked when something touches us emotionally. God uses tears to point us toward His purpose for us. What makes you cry? Where has God led you through tears?

God bless…

Millie McNabb, B.A., B.Mus.

Do you cry for concern that your children might miss, dismiss, or reject your Christian values?

Strategies and support for parents who are intentionally raising children to become Christian adults. www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating

Chocolate Pie is one of the family favorites at Thanksgiving. Sometimes I make it totally from scratch. This year I used a box pudding. Either way, there’s a sequence of cooking the filling.

When you first add the dry and wet ingredients, they don’t mix well, and little lumps float on the top. As the mixture heats up, they start to blend. It takes a certain amount of patience and perseverance to make cooked pudding. It slowly thickens as it cooks over low heat, and it has to be constantly stirred to a full boil that cannot be stirred down. If you wander off, or turn up the heat, it scorches on the bottom and the burnt taste permeates the pudding. I know. I’ve tried these things.

This year as I was stirring the pudding, I thought about my mother. One of my favorite memories is of her standing at the stove, stirring with her right hand, while reading, holding a book in her left hand.

My mind traveled on to how passion for a cause develops somewhat like making pudding. Passion often starts with things that don’t mix well—situations that are downright irritating or offensive. There may be a wet side of the mix—things that make us cry, and awaken an emotional side of us.

God keeps the heat on. As much as we’d like to have conflicts resolved like one-hour television shows, the irritations continue, until our passion begins to take form. We realize that we’re called to be more than irritated; we’re called to address the offense. Our alliance with God thickens as we join Him in righting a wrong, defending the defenseless, or upholding His righteousness. Our passion boils, and it will not be stirred down.

Anger and annoyances can be an indicator from God of the path He wants us to take: “Be angry, and yet do not sin…” (Ephesians 4:26.) What are your thoughts about living a life of passion?

By the way, the chocolate pie was gone first. God bless…

Millie McNabb, B.A., B.Mus.

Temperament Profiles can help you identify your passion and God-given design. Find out more at www.ChristianValuesLegacy.com