Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

How Did You Do It? ~ Titus 2 Tips {on Thursdays} A Guest Post

I sat on our back steps watching the two of them work together - my husband, who has always been strong and the one everyone leaned on and my son, fully grown and married. 

They talked and laughed as they assembled a new barbeque. What else would men be putting together outside on a summer afternoon? 

My husband was recuperating from a bout with strep pneumonia which had kept him hospitalized for a few days. The roles were slightly reversed this Saturday as he needed the help of our son to do the things which ordinarily would have come easily.

Where was the little boy? 

We had raised our son hoping there would be days like this. Days, when you fully realize, the depth to which relationship has been forged.

I have often been asked ... "How did you raise your children so they turned out so well?" And my answer has most times been ... "I have no idea!"

We married young and had our children young. Looking back, we were so inexperienced with not only child rearing but with life in general. We made so many mistakes along the way. Two imperfect people. We stumbled and bumbled our way through the days and here we are, years later, a little bruised and scarred, feeling deeply and greatly blessed. 

As I sit watching them work together, His Word begins to stir in my heart and mind. It comes back to me.

Those mornings, for years, in which I rose early and turned the radio on, ever so softly, to hear the familiar and comforting voice of Chuck Swindoll. He became a "friend" and a "mentor" although we have never met. I hung on every word, taking notes on any scrap of paper or spiral notebook I had handy. I will never forget the day he shared this Scripture ....

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your
children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:18-21, NIV)

And so, to answer the question of how I did it, may I offer these five suggestions I learned that very day:

Be sure to tend to your own heart and mind.

Make time each day to quiet yourself with God. I know it is hard as the kids demand much of your time. You may be exhausted. But do it anyway even if it is only for a brief ten minutes. You will be amazed at the difference it will make in you. And in them.

Be authentic.
Notice we are to teach our children as we talk sit,walk,lie down,and get up. In other words, it is during the normal daily occurrences of life. More often than not, it is through life's circumstances our children will begin to notice how real our faith is to us.

Be with your children.
If we are going to talk, sit, walk, lie down and get up with our children, we must be with them. With their life. With their friends. Exhausting? Yes! Worth it? Most definitely!

Be fully engaged.
When with them be fully engaged with them.Try not to be distracted with your cell phone or the internet or the television. Let them have your full attention. Divided and distracted time is truly not time spent with them.

Be ever praying.
Pray about everything concerning their lives—their friends,their education, their protection, their minds, their future spouses, their jobs, their teachers. Leave nothing uncovered. Keep praying. And don't stop, even after they are married!

"How did I raise my children so they turned out so well?" 

The answer truly is - by His grace!

And with His help. And He will be there to help you as well.  

Joanne recently celebrated her 35th wedding anniversary. 
She has two adult married children and her two granddaughters {whom she watches full time while their parents work} call her "Mimi".

She loves to read and write and began blogging several years ago so that her family would always know her thoughts as she processed life.

God's written Word comes alive to her as she views it through the simple daily occurrences. It is her joy to share with others in the hopes they, too, would find encouragement in His Word.
Joanne writes on her blog, Days & Thoughts and you can find her on Facebook and Twitter

A Soft Gentle voice
I am honoured to host these guest posts in this series on women mentoring women 
Some weeks you may find tips from the kitchen or healthy recipes, tools other women have used to grow spiritually, hints to help us build up and love our husbands, and lessons they have learned as they have walked along with their children to teach them to love God wholeheartedly, habits they have developed in keeping their home, ways they have worked on to keep their behaviour respectful, or rhythms that allow peace and rest in the home and hearts that dwell there within.
You will find all the posts in the series here. 
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behaviour,
not slanderers or slaves to much wine.
They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands,
that the word of God may not be reviled."

{Titus 2:3-5}


  1. Loved this post, Joanne! As a single mom, I look at my two and wonder how in the world they turned out so normal and the three of us so close. It is totally the grace of God because I can relate to making mistakes in parenting! Thank you for sharing your journey and for encouraging us to be engaged with the Father and with our children as they grow up.

    1. Thank you so much, Holly. Whether they grow up in a single parent home or with both parents, it still all comes down to one thing - God's grace. This is what your comment just brought to my mind. So grateful He parents them with us!

  2. I saw my husband do similarly with his dad, and I know they raised him well. His dad had heart surgery this year, and Jeff has been so awesome to help him out.

    I love all 5 of your suggestions! Even though my kids are (almost) grown, they still apply.

    1. It was both a humbling & blessed experience. Thank you for your encouragement, Lisa.

  3. Joanne,
    I loved reading your words of wisdom and how you've relied on the Lord as you've raised your kids....what a sweet picture of your son helping your husband :)

    1. Thank you so much, Dolly. I have so needed Him as I truly feared messing them up. Our son is truly a blessing to us all!

  4. Rebekah, I just want to thank you for sharing your space with me. I so enjoyed getting to know you a bit more. I am grateful our paths crossed. You have blessed me deeply. I am praying for God to show up big in your life & bring healing in the days ahead! Love & Blessings!

  5. This was so, so good and so, so, much like our story. I think I have mentioned to you we will celebrate our 35th one week from today, on my birthday as well. I was married on my 18th birthday (no, I didn't HAVE to, lol) and our first son came a year and a half later. Man...when I look back...we were babies!! (You couldn't have told us that then!) I cannot imagine raising them today with all of the technology begging and forcing our attention. :( I just know I would be distracted by that phone and all of its social media BLAH. I am glad I was able to be home with My Three Sons and give them the attention and love they deserved...I attribute that and the grace of God to them all serving God today. Thank you for this good word!


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