Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids


From the moment I read the blurb on the back of How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids by Rachael Carman, I KNEW this was the ONE BOOK I wanted to read {No!  NEEDED to read} to start our homeschool year.

From the blurb, all emphasis added mine:

How well do you know your kids?  What has GOD shown you about WHO they are and WHO they will become?  HE has sent these children [yes, ALL 4 of mine -- idiosyncrasies and all!] into your home AT THIS SPECIFIC TIME for HIS glorious purposes. [YES!!!]  Indeed, you have been INVITED [how I love this word!] on the adventure of a lifetime, a JOURNEY on which you WILL SEE walls fall, seas parted, and giants slain. [yes, even the "mean girl" giants we've been struggling with this last year] You don't need special skills or training for this JOURNEY -- you NEED ONLY to seek GOD and hold tight to HIS MIGHTY HAND!  [Amen and Amen and Amen]

What a glorious reminder of what my calling is and what I want for my children -- the very best that GOD has to offer!

This small book (205 pages, hardcover) spoke to my heart in very LARGE volumes.  It is simply jam-packed with insight and reminders of GOD's grace and mercy and reinforces for me the why and how we homeschool.

Using the acronym H.E.A.R.T., I was encouraged to love my children in a multitude of ways -- just like my Heavenly FATHER loves me.  Indulge me (if you will) and let me share with you quotes from each chapter of the book through which GOD moved over my heart and simply reminded me of HIS PRESENCE and who HE would like to be in my life -- and in the life of my children.

{H}   Have a Heart for the Things of GOD I was reminded that my children are constantly watching me [whether I want them to or not].  They see all that I do, all that I say and all that I say I am going to do.  They are imitating ME.  Am I imitating CHRIST? Do I have a heart for the things of GOD?  HE has a heart for me.

{E}  Enrich Your Marriage "It is from watching their parents' marriages that our children learn trust, sacrifice, loyalty, teamwork, forgiveness, cooperation, communication, and responsibility.  It is from our marriages that they learn perseverance, joy, diligence, kindness, gentleness, and communication.  It is from our marriages that they learn grace." Ah, GRACE!  How I love that word!  Is this what my children are learning as they watch the MainMost and me?  I want that for them -- more than anything . . . that they might know the GRACE of our FATHER.

{A}   Accept Your Children Accept your children for who THEY are; for who GOD created THEM to be.  Sure, the teenage years can be like the rest of life -- hard.  BUT HARD IS NOT UNBEARABLE. (what a great reminder for me!)  Hard is not the impossible.  Hard is not the end.  It's just hard.  This brings us to GOD's point of entry.  The hard place is where HE likes to show off. How often am I hard for GOD?  Thankfully, HE doesn't give up on me.  HE simply shows off.  WOW!  This chapter almost blew me away.  Rachael Carman goes on to wonder:  Which answer to prayer did you eat breakfast with this morning?  With which answer did you worship GOD on Sunday?  To which answer did you teach a new math concept this morning? What a great reminder that my children were created to bring GLORY to GOD.  They were sent at the perfect time by the GOD of the UNIVERSE.  The KING OF KINGS knows exactly what HE is doing and I must be diligent to remind them that HE has a great, big, beautiful plan for their lives.  How very privileged I am to be parenting them for such a time as this!

{R}   Release Them to GOD Just like Hannah prayed for sweet Samuel and then turned him over to be used by GOD, I have prayed countless times for each and every one of my blessings.  I am reminded, though, that they are not mine.  They are simply on loan to me for HIS GLORY.  We must desire this year and every year to "move our kids way beyond their earthly happiness.  We must be focused on giving our children the joy of the LORD.  We must recognize our children's highest calling is to glorify the one true GOD and enjoy HIM forever.  We must therefore release them to follow GOD with reckless abandon and to see HIS PLAN for their lives . . . because the world is short -- way short -- of people who have been with JESUS on an everyday basis, cultivating an intimate relationship with the LORD OF LORDS." [YES, LORD, YES!  I give them to YOU.  Use them, mold them, shape them.  They are YOURS, and not mine.  Thank YOU for sharing them with me.]

{T}   Teach Them the Truth If I do NOTHING else, I must teach my children the truth about the wonders and love of GOD.   It really is the most important thing we can accomplish in our family because the knowledge of a DADDY who loves them and cares for them and wants to have a relationship with them must be the foundation of their entire life.   "I want my children to be intrigued by HIM, to be wowed by HIM.  I want my children to know HIM and to love HIM.  I want them to seek HIM, to find HIM, and to embrace HIM.  I pray that they will desire HIS TRUTH in their lives more than anything else the world can offer them." >> Nothing else that this world has to offer matters.<<  PERIOD!

Can you tell how very much I love this book?  Can you see how blessed I have been as I have soaked up the words of wisdom and encouragement?  What I thought would be a quick read has turned into a heart-grabbing, thought-provoking, lifestyle-changing, you've-got-to-read-this-and-let-GOD-minister-to-you testament of faith for who I am and who I need to be.  I will be reading and re-reading these pages for many years to come.

Written by Rachael Carman and published by Apologia Press, How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids costs only $13.00 and can be purchased by clicking >> RIGHT HERE.  IF you buy NO OTHER encouragement for yourself this year, GO BUY THIS BOOK.  You W ILL be BLESSED beyond measure -- but better yet, your FAMILY will reap the benefits and blessings forever.


~~I was given the opportunity to use and review How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids published by Apologia Press free of charge as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  I was not paid to share my thoughts and feelings with you.  I encourage you to check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew thought of  How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids HERE.~~ Pin It Now!


  1. So true, we only need to seek God. The author blessed me with her loving advice in the book, too.

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