Welcome, Bean!

Just when you think you have been blessed to the max, a new blessing comes along to prove otherwise! God has blessed me with a new granddaughter who was born August 31, 2021 to Clint and Camille. She is an amazing bundle of joy and I have not even held her yet! The pictures sent by her proud parents have me in love with her already. Thanks to smart phones that let you share videos in real time, I have seen her newborn skin and heard her infant cries. I look forward to kissing her cheeks, smelling her newness, and touching her soft, newborn skin. There is nothing sweeter than the tiny finger grip of a little baby holding an adult’s finger. Dearest Claire Elizabeth, May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you His peace. Amen. (Numbers 6:24-26). That is my blessing and prayer to you. Welcome to the family, little Miss Bean as you join your cousins and my other grandchildren, Kennedy, Emerson, and Arianna. Hugs and kisses forever, Mumsie

Enjoy them while you can…

News flash! My oldest grandchild just graduated from high school. Say what? Perhaps you have a child or grandchild who has achieved a major milestone in life. First tooth? First steps? A pre-school graduation? A high school or college graduation? A wedding? A first job? Military service? You fill in the blanks.

Where does the time go? I like to say it is the child who is getting older, not the adults! Enjoy your children while you can. Before too long, they mature and move out on their own. That is what we train and prepare them to do. We want them to become independent and responsible adults.

We have them in our nest for a season and then we launch them to fly out of the nest and to soar on their own wings. Of course we will always have them in our hearts, no matter how old or how far away they are.

So enjoy them as much as possible while they are around. What does that look like? Enjoying them means spending time with them. Enjoying them means eating a meal around the table and talking to each other without cell phones or other devices. Enjoying them means sharing stories from family history so they know who they are. Telling stories of struggles and faith. Telling stories of survival and victory.

It is also about being supportive and forgiving of the mistakes that will surely come as they make choices and decisions to learn about the lessons of life. It is offering encouragement and sharing with them how you made it through the challenges of your life.

You can do this! With the grace and mercy of God, you and I can do this. How? By asking God for wisdom. Why? Because you are anointed, appointed, and equipped as a parent or parent figure. You are not alone.

So be glad and enjoy them as much as you can. Clap loudly for your granddaughter when she graduates. And say a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings they bring as they move forward with life.

Shalom!

Pastor Holly

Still here!

Yes, we are still here! What a season this has been. Still going through this COVID pandemic. Key word is “through.“ Not staying in this pandemic, but going through! Sending prayers out to parents who have added so many new hats to their collection. Remote classroom teacher, art teacher, physical education teacher, music teacher, cafeteria manager, and many more. God bless you. It is a challenge to get children to learn successfully. Do you realize that as parents, you are your child’s first teacher? You are appointed, anointed, and equipped to help your child become responsible, compassionate, and upstanding citizens. By whom? By God. How? By studying the Word and learning what instruction and wisdom are given for parents to implement in raising children. Parents, you’ve got this. God’s got you and your children too. Go for it! Pastor Holly

Parents have power…with adult children!

Mama Holly, here. I am convinced that even with adult children, parents still have power. It is a different kind of power. It is a power that reminds parents of the influence and support they can provide in the lives of their offspring.

For example…is your adult child going through a difficult time in a relationship? Are there red flags indicating abuse? Verbal, emotional, financial or physical? As the parent, you can pour thoughts of encouragement into your child. You can be the voice that demonstrates how valuable and deserving they are of what God has to offer them. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God declares: ” For I know the plans I have for you; plans not to harm you, but to prosper you and to give you hope and a future.”(NRSV)

When children are hurting and suffering in an unhealthy relationship, parents have power as a resource, a voice of wisdom and hope saying that they are not alone. That you are there for them as they wrestle with decisions and possible life-changing choices. Think about the way you helped them when they were a child and fell off their bike. You were there to comfort them, dust them off and get them back on track again. Your encouragement and support enabled them to learn from it and try again. Those are life’s lessons.

While unhealthy relationships and other adult-sized issues require more detailed areas of resolution, parents still have power to be a continuous source of encouragement, wisdom, strength, and hope in the lives of their (adult) children.

From Messy to Message

via Daily Prompt: Messy

Previously when I thought about the word messy, I used to think it was a bad thing…like a messy room that my parents always wanted me to clean and organize. A messy room that would result in my not going out with friends because I had not cleaned up the pile of clothes on the floor. I had not made the bed and stacks of books (which I love) were all over the place.  Now when I think about messy, I consider the message that can come out of the mess. God created heaven and earth out of the mess that was chaos and void. Out of that messy atmosphere, God created the world that is around us. Shining stars, trees, creatures, large and small, the galaxy, waterfalls and sea shells came out of the messy environment. And with all of creation came a message. God loves us. God loves you and you and you! So when things get messy, consider the message that is found in the messiness. “Even when life is messy, you are loved.”  BTW, I did learn how to clean my messy room.

Parents have prayer power!

O, God, help me understand this child!

As a parent or grandparent have you ever prayed that prayer? I have…many times. As the mother of my five, I  know that they are in my care for a season. Our sacred seeds have been entrusted to us and we are stewards of their learning, growth and spiritual development.

There were times in the early, quiet hours of the morning when I  would tiptoe downstairs to the family room. There I would find my mahogany rocking chair waiting by the fireplace with comforting arms and a warm, cozy blanket to wrap around me. In that little space, I  would rock and pray. This is the same rocking chair where each baby had been rocked, nursed and had lullabyes sung to them. However, at times I needed solitary moments between God and me. How I cherished those times when as a new parent, I could take my concerns to the throne of prayer.  I knew that when I did not have the answers to my questions and concerns about being a new mother, I could go to the Designer and Creator of my little one for answers and wisdom. I have five children and each one is different in personality and demeanor. So as you can inagine, I  spent quite a bit of time in my rocking chair over the years. The power of prayer is available to any and all parents (and grandparents) who use it. And you don’t have to have a rocking chair!

God is faithful.  God is always there to guide parents. Our first child is a daughter. Her dad and I read every book on parenting that we could get our hands on in those early years. We also asked our seasoned parents and friends about child raising tips and strategies. Fortunately, she was an easy going and mild mannered firstborn. We adjusted easily to her personality and fell into the parenting role quite nicely. Then along came her sister a few years later. She added greatly to our growing family. I love her dearly as my daughter.  She, however has a story that is a blog for another time. Stay tuned …

Parents have power!

Yes, parents have power! Welcome to Shalom Family Ministries. I am a retired educator of 42 years and recently graduated from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester,  New York. I earned my Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree and guess what! I am now the pastor of two churches. I am writing this blog because I  want to help parents and grandparents in raising up children according to the way they should go and when they grow older they will not depart from it. Sound familiar? It is Proverbs 22:6. That is the signature verse that drives Shalom Family Ministries. Unfortunately, many children have to raise themselves for a number of reasons. Some parents find it difficult to parent and teach their children because no one taught them. Others feel so overwhelmed and inadequate that they neglect their parental responsibilities and hope that others will take over their job; like school or church.

That is where my ministry and blog come in. Shalom Family Ministries is an organization that is designed to help parents and offer resources that support parenting.These resources include articles, books, workshops and wisdom from over four decades as an educator and raising five children to adulthood. I strongly believe that parents are appointed, anointed and equipped by God to raise any child who is placed in their sphere of influence.  This includes biological children, step children, foster children, and children with special needs to name a few. In addition to parents  (and grandparents), it includes supporting other adults who have constant contact with children. Are you a teacher, a bus driver, scout leader, an aunt/ uncle, or a neighbor who is constantly involved with children? Than my ministry  and blogs are for you too. Welcome!