Often, when Heidi’s kids are headed out on a date or to a class, she’ll say, “Make sure you please God tonight.” The concept of “Pleasing God No Matter What” is something Heidi has tried to emphasize since her kids were little.
Heidi checks herself on this, also. ‘Am I pleasing God?’ she asks. She especially wants to please God with her parenting.
Heidi says that if her kids grow up to love God and work hard, she’ll feel like she has done well.
Heidi and her husband live on a farm, which allows her kids daily responsibilities, caring for the animals they love. Lots of kids are lazy and un-dedicated. Heidi wants her kids to have an advantage, by having learned to work.
She started, when her kids were about three, by having them pull the covers up on their beds. It didn’t have to be perfect, but they had to try hard. And then she would praise them for a job well done.
Now that her kids are older, her girls (ages 5, 10, and 13) have an egg business. They work together on it and make a little extra money. And her boys (age 17 and 19) both work at a farm pet store, where the owner loves them because of their work ethic. He has asked Heidi, “Do you have any others who can come work for me?”
Heidi thinks that Christians should be willing to go the extra mile. She’s trained her kids to take initiative and do even more than what’s expected. This sort of attitude is a good testimony to others.
As for training her kids to love God–that’s harder because it’s a heart issue. But Heidi tries to guide her kids to consider their own hearts, and think about what they are loving. When she corrects one of her kids for being dishonest or disrespectful, she’ll say, “Who were you loving, when you did that? God or yourself?”
Once, at about age 5, Heidi’s daughter was convinced that she didn’t sin. Heidi would say, “Well what about when you were unkind? What about when you were selfish?” Her daughter would just shrug and persist with the idea that she had no sin. It scared Heidi to see her daughter’s hard little heart, so closed to the Lord!
So Heidi started praying like crazy for her daughter (who now thinks it’s funny that she once refused to admit to any sin). Heidi says that she has seen God do miracles in her kids’ hearts–showing them their sin and changing their behavior in ways that Heidi never could have. Heidi has learned that rather than first going to parenting books or embarking on some new plan to revise behavior, the first thing she should do is pray.
Heidi knows that her parenting is flawed, but God’s isn’t. She might have an idea of what she would like to happen, but if she prays Scripture, she can be confident that her prayers will reflect what God wants for her kids.
There are a couple of books that Heidi has found helpful, which allow you to insert your child’s name into a Bible verse:
Heidi remembers hearing her husband reflect on how he would come downstairs, as a boy, and find him mom on her knees at the sofa, praying for her kids. This had an effect on Heidi as a young wife, and she determined that she wanted her kids to see her praying as well. When her kids were little, Heidi would pray for them during nap time, but now she gets up in the morning before they are up, and prays for them. When the boys come down for breakfast, they see their mom in the sun room and know that she is praying for them.
After so many years of use, Heidi’s little prayer books are now tattered and falling apart, but the her faith has been effected in just the opposite way. By plugging her kids’ names into Scripture morning after morning, Heidi’s faith has grown sure and strong.
Thanks so much to Heidi for letting us in on her mothering. Do you know a mom who is exceptional in some way? Read how to ‘Nominate a Mom’ here.