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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 14:23 – Hard Work

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Proverbs 14:23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

“Hey mom, can you come spot me? I’m gonna try a backflip.”

My middle son Owen asked me that question just as offhandedly as he might have asked me to help him with a math problem. In his head, it was something he wanted to do so he was gonna try it. In my head, it was a crazy thought, and he would probably get over it in the near future.

But he didn’t.  Instead, he did what kids these days do and found YouTube instruction videos. Then he started practicing. He’s always done crazy stuff off the diving board, but I really didn’t think he’d figure this one out. In fact, I pretty much laughed him off.

But he was not deterred. First he used a futon mattress for protection. Once he was able to successfully land a flip on the mattress, he moved to an exercise mat. Now he can pretty much flip off of anything anywhere.

I considered shutting him down right away. I didn’t really believe he would succeed, and I wasn’t really hot on the idea of an emergency room trip. But he worked at it until he got it, and now he reaps the benefits of being able to do something pretty cool that most people wouldn’t even think of trying.

Hard work comes in different shapes and sizes, but the reward is generally the same. Satisfaction in a job well done and a sense of accomplishment. If my boys have a good understanding of that before they grow up and leave this house, I will be a happy mama.

Dear Lord, I pray that you will help me to train up my boys to know the value of hard work. Help them to understand that hard work leads to profit. Amen.

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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 13:5 – Hate Sin

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Proverbs 13:5 The righteous hate what is false, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.

Our kids are growing up in a society that loves making evil good and good evil. It’s a confusing and frustrating generation for Christian kids to be immersed in.  The Bible draws clear lines between what is false and what is true, but our society no longer finds its morality within scriptures. Instead we live in a world of shifting mores. Whatever feels right right now, must be right. In this dangerous way of thinking, “truth” shifts as often as the seasons.

Movies, TV shows and even school curriculum lead our kids to believe things that are false are really true. We see it in biology and the big bang theory, we see it in the absolute lack of respect for purity, we see it in the all out pursuit of pleasure with disregard for anything or anyone that gets hurt along the way.

Hate is a harsh word, and people don’t like to use it in our culture, but God doesn’t tell us to tolerate what is false. He doesn’t tell us to ignore what is false. He doesn’t even tell us to avoid what is false. He tells us to hate it.

When we hate what is opposed to God, we are obeying his commands. This doesn’t mean hating people. God never calls us to hate people. He does however call us to hate sin. Our own sin and the sin of others. When our kids are able to see the evil of sin, they will more clearly understand their desperate need for the cross.

And more than anything, I want my kids to see their need for the cross.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I ask that you will help my kids to clearly see evil for what it is. Help them to see through the sugar-coating society puts on sin and have an understanding of the depravity of it, that they may on the flipside, see the absolute beauty of the cross. Amen.

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BOY MOM MONDAY Proverbs 12:26 Friendship

by KimHarms 0 Comments

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12:26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

One of my oldest son’s best friends is the son of one of my college friends. It is not by accident.

When our boys were in third grade, my friend and I became proactive in their friendship, orchestrating times for the boys to hang out together. Theirs is a friendship that probably wouldn’t have blossomed without a little push because the boys didn’t naturally cross paths. In all of their years of elementary school, they were only placed in the same classroom one time, and our families attend different churches so they didn’t see each other on the weekends either.

But Jen and I knew that they would be a good pair, so we made the effort to help them develop a friendship. They are now teenagers, and they are pretty tight. From shooting hoops, to playing video games and watching movies they spend a lot of time together. Sometimes they even get up to work out together before school in the morning.

I don’t regret the role I played in their friendship. I would do it again in a second.

Carter and Josiah’s friendship is a blessing, but I know I can’t handpick all of their friends. I can, however, pray.

I’m happy to say that my boys have picked some pretty awesome guys to hang out with, and I am not concerned that their friends are leading them down a wrong path. As they get older though, the temptations from the world will get stronger, and it is absolutely vital that I pray for my boys to be cautious and wise in developing friendships.

Prayer

Lord, I thank you for the good friendships you have blessed my boys with. I pray that you will lead them away from friendships that will pull them away from you, and help them to be the kind of friend that in both their actions and words is trustworthy and committed. And may their friendships honor you. Amen.

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BOY MOM MONDAY Proverbs 11:2 Humility

by KimHarms 0 Comments

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Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

My Owen loves to play football.  Before he was old enough for school ball he played on a youth team, and man did he enjoy it.

One of those years his team won one game. One game.

They practiced hard and played hard, but they just couldn’t pull off a win.

I credit his coaches for instilling in the boys the love of the game, even in loss. They encouraged those boys continually. And each week the kids went out and gave it their best. And they never stopped believing in their potential to win.

It’s hard to watch your kid lose week after week, but we tend to learn more from loss than from a win don’t we? Repeated loss is humbling, and wisdom comes when we are humble.

I think of that old football movie Rudy. Rudy dreamed of playing Notre Dame football. He was small. He was poor, and nobody really believed in him. But he never gave up believing in his potential to play, and his long hard road to being a part of the Fighting Irish shaped him into a man of character.

Of course I love to see my kids win when they play sports, but above that I prefer to see them have a humble attitude. Not one of cockiness and self-importance, but one of character that exudes an understanding of the value of loss and appreciates the joy of simply playing the game.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I pray that as my kids compete in various activities, you teach them humility through loss. I also ask that that humility will carry over into their wins. Amen.

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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 10:19 Speech

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Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

One of the things that attracts me to and conversely makes me want to strangle my husband is that he chooses his words carefully.  If the average number of words spoken by a male really is 7,000 as they say, Corey could easily get by with 3,500.

If it doesn’t need to be said, he doesn’t say it.

I hate this when he’s been gone for an extended period of time and returns home to describe the whole experience in two sentences. What?!? How is that even possible?

I love this when we are in a serious discussion or when I witness him discussing something meaty with others. Some people process externally and can do it well. But the more words that are said, the higher the opportunity for sin to squeeze in. So many of us tend to speak first and think second. This doesn’t necessarily lead to sin. It can, however, lessen the value of each statement.

Most of time when Corey says something, it is after much thought, and it is meaningful.  A number of people have told me over the years that whenever they are in a meeting that includes Corey, their ears perk up when he starts talking.

He thinks before he speaks, and his spoken thoughts are valuable and insightful. People recognize and appreciate that about him.  I hope that my sons will see this in their dad and strive to follow his lead in communicating wisely.

Prayer

Lord, I pray my children will take after their father and think before they speak. May you develop them into good communicators, not necessarily good talkers. Let their words represent a mature thought life and may the words of their tongues bring you glory. Amen.

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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 9:9 EFFORT

by KimHarms 2 Comments

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Proverbs 9:9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

My kids aren’t big fans of the 8:00 – 3:00 school day routine. (It’s boring, they say.) And it perplexes them that they must go to school for nine months of the year while summer break lasts only three months. In their minds, to be fair, school should be six months of the year and break should fill the other six.

They wouldn’t say that they think learning is fun, but my oldest son found an appreciation for the hard work of studying last year. School has always come easy to him. He can spell pretty much every word in the English language (it’s not uncommon for his dad to ask him how to spell something), and he took Algebra in seventh grade.

That Algebra class introduced him to the world of studying.

Never having studied a day in his life, he found himself in a class where everything didn’t just fall into place for him. He had to learn to study. The weekend before semester tests, he and his dad studied for 6 hours together. (Whew! My brain hurt just watching them.)

But you know what? He learned the material and got an A on the test.

I hope that as he grows, he will not just slide by on his natural abilities, but that he will appreciate what studying can do. And may he realize that though he is a smart kid according to the school’s standards, he can still add to his learning if he puts forth effort.

Prayer

Lord, I pray that my kids will understand the value of listening to instruction and learning new and sometimes difficult things. And as they study and learn the things they need to in school, I pray they will find that they can grow in wisdom by studying your word as well. Amen.

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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 8:35 – FIND LIFE

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Proverbs 8:35 For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.

My kids sometimes play the game sardines with their friends. In sardines, one person hides and the rest of the group tries to find him.  When a seeker finds the hider, he hides alongside him. This pattern continues until only one seeker is left. That last one left seeking is the loser.

The kids who don’t pay close attention as the other players start disappearing tend to be the least successful in the game. It’s all about seeking with purpose and joining those who have found the right spot.

Life can be a little like sardines. Our boys can be like that last seeker. It’s so easy to get sucked into playing video games, watching youtube videos or just counting the hours until the 3:00 school bell. None of which are in and of themselves bad, but when meaningless activities are the primary focus of all their days, they are missing out on a life lived on purpose.

Without learning to seek God as they grow into young adults, they will be left out of his blessing, never finding the right spot and ending up the loser.

We parents need to help them find the right spot. We need to point them to Christ where they will find life. The world is certainly not going to do it for us.

My hope for my boys is that (though they love their video games, their Good Mythical Morning and their Dude Perfect) they will seek God purposefully and join those who have found the right place. God promises when they do, they won’t regret it.

Prayer

Dear Lord, Will you give my children a desire to seek you? Will you make yourself easy to find when they seek, and will you then also give them favor when they have found you, the true treasure? Amen.

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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 7:4-5 PURITY

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Proverbs 7: 4-5 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your kinsman; they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.

 

I willingly admit that I was a little boy crazy in my early teen years. I passed some notes in class and called boys on occasion. But it was all pretty harmless; aside from the fact that a few boys probably found me annoying.

The ease and impersonal nature of texting and social media has made both boys and girls bolder. Without the awkwardness of face-to-face interaction, many feel more comfortable seeking the attention of the opposite sex in ways generations past would have considered appalling.

In addition to this ease of communication, aggressive girls may be seeking a male companion because they are missing a supportive father figure in their life. Aggressive boys may be missing a loving mother. Or maybe it’s the effect of decades of women’s lib or the failure of parents to be involved in guiding their kids through puberty and beyond. Most likely, it’s a combination of many factors.

Regardless the cause, the world our kids live in is not an innocent place, and we need to be guiding and protecting our boys.

It is not uncommon in high schools across our country for girls to send provocative messages and even pornographic photos of themselves to boys via phone apps. It also not uncommon for boys to create data bases of these photos to share with each other. (This is not an exaggeration. One such data base was discovered right here in Central Iowa in 2014.)

Even boys who would never be involved in such a thing are continually bombarded with messages that encourage them to devalue women. And the girls who wouldn’t think of exposing themselves to such an extent are inundated with propaganda that tells them the tighter, sheerer and shorter the clothes they wear, the higher they will be esteemed. And they are Eating. It. Up.

It’s a big fat lie, but it is oh so pervasive.

All of this makes it challenging for kids to navigate their way through puberty and the early teen years .  In a perfect world, modesty and respectfulness would be the rule of the day, and we would all love Jesus above all else. But this is earth, not heaven.

Our world is broken, and it will be until the day Jesus returns.

We parents cannot give in to the brokenness. We need to be more diligent about standing against it. In addition to being involved in the lives of our boys-turning-into-men, we need to be on our knees in prayer for them.

My hope and prayer for my sons is that they will respect themselves and the girls in their lives, that they will have the strength to stay pure in a world that mocks purity and that as Proverbs 7:4 says, they will call wisdom their sister and understanding their kinsman.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I fear for the sex-saturated gauntlet otherwise known as high school that my boys will soon be entering. I ask you to help them to be wise when it comes to purity, and to seek you when temptations come their way. Amen.

Suggested Further Reading

Protecting Your Son From Aggressive Girls

To the Middle School Girls at the Pool Who Told My Son He Is Hot

11 Facts About Sexting

 

 

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Boy Mom Monday – Proverbs 6:10-11 LAZINESS

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Proverbs 6:10-11

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit, and scarcity like an armed man.

We can be lazy over here at the Harms house. There are some hot summer days and cold winter days during which holding down the couch is an all day event. I let my kids play too many video games some days and sleep in too late on other days. I’m not perfect.

But though I am the overseer of the lazy days, I’m also trying to instill a good work ethic in my kids. Lazy days do not have to equal lazy children. The boys are required to mow the lawn, clear the dinner table and load the dishwasher among other household tasks. The older two are sometimes needed to watch their younger brother when they would rather be out with their friends. And when we are in the midst of a home construction project their dad likes to teach them new skills like laying hardwood flooring.

Sometimes I wish my kids were born into a generation where hard work was a general expectation in society. But, alas, I am raising them in an era of entitlement and instant gratification, where we are led to believe we deserve to get whatever we want whenever we want it simply because we exist.

It’s a challenging task to teach our children the benefits of hard work when it is a concept that our society is falling away from. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to give in to it. My desire is to train my boys to understand the value of working hard and the sense of accomplishment that comes from earning versus entitlement.

Prayer

Lord, Help me to train my kids to understand the value of hard work. May the idea of entitlement be foreign to them. I pray they will grow to be useful and productive members of society, living disciplined, loving and constructive lives. Amen.

 

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Boy Mom Monday – Proverbs 5:18 MARRIAGE

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Proverbs 5:18

Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

 

The girl interest level at my house is pretty low right now, but I know my boys will sooner or later realize that the females of the species aren’t so bad. And though two of my three are adamant about retaining their bachelorhood until death, I know it is likely that someday a sweet girl will take their breath away and eventually their heart.

In this world where sex outside of marriage is aggressively promoted as right and good, where the negative effects of it are ignored, where divorce is almost expected and where the purpose of marriage is in question, I fear for my sons.

My heart aches when I think of the possibility of them making avoidable mistakes that will bring them hurt and regret, and will quite possibly alter the course of their entire lives.

But I happen to know the God who created marriage and sex. And I also happen to know that he loves my children even more than I do. I will place my kids at his feet every single day asking (and I’m not beyond begging) that each one will one day find that right girl. And that he will save himself for her. And that she will be the wife of his youth. The wife of his middle age. The wife of his old age.

And that he will rejoice in her always.

Prayer: Lord, protect my sons from the lies this world tell him about love, marriage and commitment. Show them the beauty of marriage as you created it. I pray you will place in them a longing for the love you desire for them to have. Amen.

Some Further Reading about Purity and Marriage:

Sexual Purity is Not the Goal

Love of A Lifetime

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