I know I said we were switching to study skills—and we really are. I have fifty pages of notes, outlines, and articles that I have done on this topic…so it will not be a matter of whether we will do study skills here, but rather where to wind it down. I want to help families with their kids’ study skills but not give so much information it becomes overwhelming. Pray for me! 

However, before we dig in to those study skills (next week, honest!), I have been pondering something that my niece and her husband asked me and Ray at a family get together this weekend: How did you keep motivation going strong when your kids were little? How did you (Donna) get up and do everything you wanted and needed to every day with all those needs and all of those demands? How did Ray get up early and teach kids, then go to work, then come home and serve all evening too? Didn’t you just want to be lazy sometimes? Didn’t you just want to do what you wanted to do sometimes? Didn’t you just plain not want to do it at times?

We gave them the short answer—see everything as a big part of a future, unseen-as-yet picture; do the next thing; see others who have done it; take breaks, etc. etc. But I have since thought of more ideas about this topic and want to share it here over the next week.

My niece and her husband have their hands full even more than we did fifteen years ago—they have the same number of kids twelve and under as we did; however, they have three kids three and under—and those demands are huge—never-ending, and extremely tiring. Therefore, I hate to give pat answers. I never liked receiving pat answers—just do what you need to do; keep going; it’s not as hard as it seems; it’s worth it. All of that is true, but I always wanted more than one liners—I wanted the nuts and bolts, and I know many young parents still want the same.

So, today I will give the “pat” answers, if you will. The one liners that I truly believe are pertinent to this discussion. Then over the next week, I will try to put those one liners into motivation, inspiration, and “tools” that are useable.

1. Attack the first hour of the day first.

2. Watch out for time robbers.

3. Attack one thing at a time. Attack the most crucial, pressing matter(s) first, then move on to the next

4. Cut yourself some slack. Take time off when needed.

5. Don’t take on extras or unreasonable goals that detract from what you really need to do.

6. Try to find role models with older children—those you can look to that will encourage you that all of your hard work is worth it and will pay off later.

7. Look into your children’s hearts. They are so precious. This will reveal the great need to keep doing what you are doing.

8. See each need you meet, each task you carry out, each lesson you teach, each heart you touch as of eternal value—not just for the here and now.

9. Spend time with your spouse. Be one in your marriage, as well as in your parenting.

10. Do not view the husband as the breadwinner and the wife as the child raiser. We are both parents—and we are in this thing together.

11. See the intense years as needful and crucial. These are the years that the foundations of Christian character, self control, and spiritual development are laid.

12. Trust God.

You can do this!!! It is so worth it! Things will never be perfect…we have things to deal with even now with our kids (grown ones who still need discipling and ones at home who need us daily in many areas of life) every week, but it is worth it!

I thought it was so hard, that the intense years would never pass. But we kept at it….just kept on doing the same things, the same hard things, day in and day out, knowing that the little glimpses of rewards we saw and the joy that small children bring would some day be bigger glimpses of rewards…and joy unspeakable.

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