Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Full Life


The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) John 10:10

How many times have I felt exhausted by cleaning, cooking, laundry, diapers, and disciplining? Sometimes it feels like it was literally sucking the life out of me! Stealing my time and energy.

This is not at all what the Lord intended for us. God said I am going to give you a full life. He did not mean a busy life, full of busy work. No, He meant He wants us to have a joyful life. A life that you can look forward to with joyful anticipation. Not one you cringe at the thought of, not one filled with dread. 



My family and I desire a life that is overflowing with love, laughter, snuggles, dreams, hope, adventures, conversation, revelation, and discovery. Time and time again the enemy tries to come and bring guilt, steal, kill, and destroy these things by imposing others ideals, standards, techniques, expectations, judgment, and condemnation. 

How in the world are we suppose to overcome these obstacles? That is the problem and there is no answer to it in this world. In order to overcome it we have to start to live by a different set of laws and order. The laws and order of Heaven. To recognize what is truly vital and what is not by the Kingdom's standards. To live by and extend the laws of love, grace, forgiveness, kindness, peace, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. We need to craft our space, ideals, dreams, and days after a Heavenly order. Not a worldly order of business and cramming as much as we can into one day, one week, or one weekend. We need to understand the value of rest, being present, and available; to God, ourselves, family, and friends.

Is your life full or busy? Are you enjoying your life? If you answered busy and no, take some time to sit and be with the Lord and ask Him ¨What needs to change in order to have the full life You promised?¨

Some scriptures to meditate on:
Psalm 3:3, 30:11-12
John 16:33
Romans 8:28
2 Corinthians 1:4, 4:8, 16-17, 12:9
Philippians 4:13
Sally's new book Life Giving Home  is now available! And Filled with ideas on how you can embrace a full life.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Training Through Tradition


When I speak of training I am speaking about relationship training rather than the more commonly known obedience training. 

Your child is on a journey of learning how life works and how to interact with others in their little worlds. When your child is all grown up and ready to leave home they will not have to know how to obey the world around them. However, they will have to know how to manage themselves in relationships with peers, co-workers, bosses, friends, spouse, and children.

When it comes to relationships the most important thing that we need to teach our children is that healthy relationships can only exist when we intentionally invest in them. One way we can show our children this truth is by creating family traditions. Traditions give our children a feeling of security and belonging. 



We have many traditions in our home, and we enjoy them all year round! We celebrate holidays with the typical traditions of stockings at Christmas, scavenger hunts at Easter, and picnics on the 4th of July. Along with these we also have special traditions that come with  the changing seasons. Outdoor movies in the summer, festivals in the fall, snow ice cream during winter storms. However, the tradition that we cherish the most is our children's bedtime routines. No matter how old they are we intend to end the day with snuggling up and digging into our favorite stories. We pray and sing over them, and if need be pillow talk anything that might be lingering in their hearts or minds.  We do all this with a specific purpose in mind. To instill in each one of our children a deep knowing that they are always welcome to come 'home'. That we are a refuge for them and no matter how old they are our arms and laps are always open for them to climb into.



To get you started I highly recommend Sally Clarkson's new book The Life Giving Home: Creating A Place Of Belonging And Becoming  it is chalk full of Sally's family traditions and ways to encourage growth in all the relationships going on in your life. Along with the book she has created a resource page where her readers can share and exchange traditions and fun family ideas. 

Does your family have unique traditions or special moments that you celebrate each year? Please share them with us here or on the resource page.  We would love to hear them.


Sally's new book Life Giving Home  is now available!




Friday, February 5, 2016

What Is Your Focus


“The joy-filled life is not found by diminishing my God-given 

responsibilities as a woman, wife, and mother, nor can I find joy 

merely by refusing to face the hard realities of life in a fallen 

world. There is a tension that God is asking me to acknowledge 

and accept ~ the tension between ideals and realities. True joy is 

found by living somewhere between the ideal life and daily 

realities. That is where Jesus meets me, where His Holy Spirit 

empowers, and where I learn how to live the Christian life with 

supernatural joy. To celebrate life is simply a choice.” Sally 

Clarkson The Lifegiving Home Book. Read More.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mini Post: Baby It's Cold Outside

With the snow flying and the cold settling in you can start to 

feel the on set of cabin fever. On top of that your children 

want to go out and play in the snow, but as soon as they get 

out they have to go to the bathroom or start to cry because it 

is too cold or the snow too deep. We here in The Pollard 

Tribe have found a solution to this problem. We bring the 

outdoors in! We fill baking pans, cookie sheets, or even the 

bathtub (best option for clean up) up with snow and let the 

kids play in it with measuring spoons, dolls, cars, trucks, 

Legos or what have you. They love it, stay warm, and no one 

pees in their snowsuits


 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Your Home Is A Training Ground


Your home is a training ground.  For what specifically? For obedience? No. For relationship. 

Your child is on a journey of learning how life works and how to interact with others in their little worlds. When your child is all grown up and leaves your home they will not have to know how to obey the world around them. They will have to know how to manage themselves in all kinds of relationships; with peers, co-workers, bosses, friends, spouse, and children. 

Yes, some of the relationships I have described will ask them to fulfill a number of request. However, their decision to comply will come out of a place of respect and/ or love for the other person, not out of a place of fear of punishment. 


So does this mean you stop asking your children to do things around the house? Heavens no! Because when we ask them to do a chore or a 'favor' we are showing them our hearts. We are revealing to them what is important to us and giving them an opportunity to reject it or respect it. If they respect it, our relationship will grow. If they reject it there might be some side effects to not heeding our request. For example, 'spit the gum out before nap' -request ignored -gum gets stuck in hair -hair must be cut. Or 'be home by nine' -they are late -trust is broken -can not go to overnights until the trust is regained.


Giving them the freedom to control themselves gives them the opportunity to learn how to manage themselves in the day to day decisions as well as in relationships. Relationships is big picture stuff. When we keep our eyes on the big picture we can stop sweating the little things. Let me explain with a story.



Before

After Christmas I went through my children's dresser drawers and sorted out the clothes that no longer fit them anymore, organized and folded the clothes neatly allowing the drawers to actually close! Two days later I walked into my son Aiden's room to give him some laundry to put away, and what did I find?  Clothes cascading down the drawers like a colorful waterfall on to the floor. 


After

Right in that moment, as I about to lose it, God spoke to my heart and reminded me of a teenaged girl who, when her mother asked her to put her clothes away, would stuff them into the bottom of her closet.  After twenty plus grueling years of training she grew out of the habit when she valued her relationship with her husband enough to keep their closet in order. Aiden is six and still in training.  I will continue to train him in a loving and respectful way. My motivation is not to get him to finally obey me, but is purely for the sake of my future daughter-in-law's sanity!

When we focus our training on relationship instead of obedience the fruit is long-lasting. Obedience is a wearing and tiresome thing. If all God had to offer us was a dictatorship we would have given up on Him a long time ago. But God offered His CHILDREN a greater thing; a relationship that is ever evolving and deepening. From this places of relationship sprouts a desire in our hearts to please Him, to do the work of His heart, and to honor Him with the ins and outs of our daily lives. What if we focused on giving our child a greater thing; a chance at relationship?




Sally's new book Life Giving Home will be available on Feb 2nd. 









Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mini Post: Relax itś Not Who You Are


The immature actions of your child is not a reflection of who you are. 

Remember your child is on a journey of learning how life works and how to interact with others in their little world. Even as adults we still stumble on blindsiding situations that we barely come out the other side unscathed. For an example parenthood! 

Just like we are God's children shooting at a mark of being like Him. Your children are shooting at a mark of being like you. We are still growing, learning and maturing and so are our children. 

Keep in mind God is not worried about you misrepresenting Him. He knows that one day you will get there and I promise you so will your child.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mom Fail: The Struggle Is Real



The word fail is constantly streaming across the social media bracket be it Facebook, Twitter, or whole channels dedicated to it on Youtube. Some of them we laugh at and some we roll our eyes at and post OMG. But the truth is there is one type of fail that haunts us mamas. The Mom Fail. 

Outwardly we downplay it jokingly in conversation, but inwardly it is a real struggle. I do not know of a single mom that has never felt inadequate at one time or another. "Am I letting my child watch too much TV?" "Am I letting them use the tablet too much?" "I didn't have dinner done in time." "My house is always messy."  "I hate laundry." "My daughter should be potty trained by now."
The struggle is real, but why? Why do we feel guilty? 





It is because we are trying to measure ourselves to an unattainable social standard.  So we bend over backwards and lose our tempers with the ones we love to meet an ideal painted by a picture in a magazine, or a television show, or those women that you think have it all together. I go into more detail on this in Making a House vs. Making A Home
However, what I want to focus on today is how do we break free from the chains of feeling like we are failing our families? 


First, we need to revisit what we believe to be truth and discern if it really is truth. Sit down with your spouse to read and discuss Philippians 1:9-10 And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight (that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment) So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value (recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral difference) and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless (so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach) the day of Christ (not stumbling nor causing others to stumble).
We need to figure out what is of value and vital for our own family unit. 




Second, we need to make a choice to Own Your Life. Are you going to chose a life you like and enjoy over a life of performance? In my eight years of parenting I have gone from a perfectionist to a realist to an opportunist. I drove myself crazy trying to meet other people's standards. Then I got real and realized my house doesn't need to look like Martha Stewart's show. After embracing this revelation I changed from a life of schedules to a life of order and opportunities. Opportunities to clean my house, keep up with laundry, celebrate, play, rest, and enjoy my life. I looked to Hebrews 4:16 to ground me. Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy (for our failures) and find grace to help in good time for every need (appropriated help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it.) I found that the things that are important and vital will always be taken care of in their own timing because God cares for me affectionately. (1 Peter 5:7) No one family looks like another so each family should and does function differently. It is time that each family set its own standard that works for them and be okay with it.

Third, we need to be flexible. Your family is always changing in either it size, age, needs, and sometimes location. Change means you cannot keep doing things the way you always have before. You will need to reevaluate what works and what does not and then adjust. Some posts that might help in these times are: When Seasons Change and Find Out Who Your Real Friends Are.

I want to leave you with one very important thing. Do not give up! Do not therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. Hebrews 10:35 You are doing an amazing things in raising your children and if you stay firm in your leaning on the Lord you will receive a great reward. Remember, The only way you can really fail is by quitting. 



Sallyś new book Life Giving Home will be available on Feb 2nd.