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Teaching Your Children’s Hearts

The following is an article I wrote for the ICARE homeschool newsletter.  Enjoy!

I woke up this morning at five am. No, I am not a morning person and don’t normally do this. The heaviness of my heart woke me up with a need to pray for my children. After praying one of those groggy – am I even making any sense prayers – I looked at the clock. The red 5:05 was staring at me with a warning of how grumpy I’ll be if I don’t get more sleep. Although I still felt an urgency to pray, I rolled over and tried to sleep. Sleep eluded me. The hearts of my children weigh heavy on me.

That’s why you find me here, on my computer – coffee in hand – when the windows show darkness and the house is quiet. I’ve prayed until my words feel empty. Empty because they are just words and it’s my faith that is struggling. My words mean little if I don’t back them with faith. It’s time to hand it to Jesus and trust Him. For some reason today, I’m finding it extra hard to just hand it over, stop worrying, and start trusting.

It’s not my trust in Jesus that’s the problem. I know he can handle anything – with just a word he can create the world – with just a touch he can heal. The problem is me. When I started homeschooling, there was so much I didn’t understand about my children. My parenting was in survival mode. When I thought about my kids’ hearts, it was about blood flow and beats, instead of Jesus’ blood in them and if they beat for Him.

In my blog ( https://kimberlyvogel.wordpress.com ) on the anniversary of Hurricane Ike, I shared how that day changed my parenting. What I didn’t share is that my parenting skills consisted mostly of yelling at the kids and just trying to survive. The patterns of behavior I had then still come up to haunt me. Patterns are hard to break. Teaching your children’s hearts – not just their minds – is hard.
I still carry guilt about the early years. I’ll admit it: I carry guilt over the mistakes I make every day. That brings me back to trusting Jesus. It’s not HIM I have trouble trusting… it’s me. The one lesson I’ve learned… I am ineffective in teaching my children’s hearts if mine is not flowing with the blood of Christ, beating strongly for Him, and deeply in love with my Savior. I lean on the verses from Joel 2. Verses 12 and 13 remind me what I need to do:

Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Verses 25 – 27 give me hope and a promise:

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten… You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.

If your heart is heavy for the hearts of your children, do not be dismayed! We have a special speaker …info about meeting here…

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About Kimberly Vogel

I am a mom of four beautiful daughters, a writer, and a certified Early Childhood and Elementary Teacher who recently made the switch from teaching in a classroom to teaching her children at home. I am often found in the children’s area of my church where I volunteer and lead a children’s program. Writing is a natural outpouring of my love for my Savior. Follow along while I share my journey as a bridge builder with you. My prayer is that you start building bridges too!

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