Friday, October 28, 2011

Parenting Sensitive Children #2

The Common Parenting Task

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). This verse has been interpreted as meaning that Christian parents should know the way a child is to be raised so that he will keep the faith throughout his life time. A one size fits all approach. It would be more accurately rendered from the Hebrew as: "Educate and train a child according to the way God designed him to be, and when he is old he will not stray from it." We are to make sure our child is educated and trained according to his individual design! If a child grows up knowing who he is, of course he will remain true to himself when he is old--he will know how!

This is the parenting task in a nutshell, and true for parenting any child. We are to listen to the Lord and listen to the child and reveal to the child the parth the Lord designed for him to walk. It is the parents responsibility to educate him, and to equip him to go that way, to learn to be himself by means of modeling and instruction. If you cannot do the job yourself, your responsibility before God is to find someone who can teach, model, mentor your child in the area you are not equipped to do so. The overall responsibility for parenting remains yours--you do not turn over the task of parenting to someone else. For a highly sensitive child, part of the modeling and instruction will also relate to burden bearing, so that the child learns to bear burdens to the Cross, rather than wound or destroy himself and others by wearing them.

When raising a highly sensitive child, the parenting task does not change. It does take on added emotional intensity and has the additional task of teaching and training the child to bear burdens in a manner the Lord desires.

The added diminsion of intensity and the additional task of teaching and training how to bear burdens properly are the only things differences in raising a highly sensitive child--but that is a lot!

Any of you who would like to share your stories of how you discerned the Lord's design for your child I would love to have you comment!

Next time: How do you accomplish the common parenting task?

Blessings, Carol

Friday, October 21, 2011

Parenting Sensitive Children

How do you know when your child is highly sensitive and when he is being God's little spy and marking your character flaws with peanut butter and jelly? You may not be able to tell right away, but as you study your children, the Lord makes it clear. In the meantime you can modify your parenting to avoid many of the hurtful behaviors outlined in chapter 3 of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity. If you treat a not-so-sensitive child as if he is sensitive, it will not hurt him. However, treating a sensitive child as if he is not sensitive will hurt him!

Recognizing a child as highly sensitive and potenitally a burden bearer can be one of the greatest gift you give him or her. Recognition is the first step on the path to raising a spiritually and emotionally healthy child. Below are some of our non-scientific observations, however they are similar to Dr. Elaine Aron's scientific observations!
  1. Cries, or tries to intervene or comfort when another child is hurt or tormented
  2. Needs "alone" time away from stimulation, noise, activity
  3. Sometimes asks pointed questions about things that make adults nervous
  4. Has a vivid imagination. Sometimes needs help sorting physical reality from spiritual reality.
  5. Has visions, sees angels
  6. Attuned to family needs and moves to help by doing chores or passively by not expressing needs
  7. Attuned to and affected by others' moods
  8. Overwhelmed by too many people, lights, noise, etc.
  9. Has times of excessive emotion--responses seem extreme whether it be grief, anger, sadness or tears over physical hurts
  10. Has times of uncharacteristic behavior, when he/she does not act like him/herself
  11. Tender feeings, easily hurt
  12. Appears shy and quiet
  13. Vulnerable to sadness or depression
  14. Drawn to strong personalities or weak personalities
  15. Drawn to help in situations where there is intense inner turmoil or trouble
  16. Is a chamelieon. The child comes home acting like the last child he/she played with. She is belligerent or whiney, swears, kicks or hits, acting out behaviors characteristic of the playmate, but not characteristic of herself on a daily basis.
  17. Is spacey--doesn't hear when spoken to, forgets, may walk around oblivious to the rest of the world, seems absorbed in own thoughts--off in another world.
  18. Is often used as a scapegoat.
  19. Sees things adults may not see, such as the inner state of another.
  20. Knows or senses things ahead of time, such as when Grandma is coming, or that the neighbor child is going to fall out of a tree.
This is not a definitive list, but if you ticked off a goodly number of items, it may help you look at your child with different eyes. Being highly sensitive simply means that the central nervous system is highly tuned and takes in more sensory data than most people do. Sensitivity is on a spectrum from highly sensitive to those on the other end of the spectrum with the empathy of a stump! Those who are highly sensitive spiritually tend to be highly sensitive in other areas as well. Excerpted from The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity. To be continued . . .

Blessings, Carol

Friday, October 14, 2011

Guest Blog: Goosie Goose

Listening Post Interview #3 - Goosie Goose
Reported by Sis White

Sis:  Goosie Goose, thank you for agreeing to speak with us at the Listening Post about the upcoming Sassy Pants story! Our readers appreciate hearing from eye witnesses! Would you tell us what happened when Sassy Pants approached you and Gerald with this idea of making amends?
Goosie: Well, when the two of them found us our first reaction was to fluff and hiss! But then I thought better of it. That little pig was not worth ruffling my feathers over, so I put them down and Gerald followed suit. And then . . .

Editors Note: Goosie's response to the question was so extensive it would make another book! We encourage readers to get a copy of Sassy Pants Makes Amends and read the first hand account of what took place.

Sis: Tell us Goosie, do you think making amends is a good idea?
Goosie: Good idea? Oh, I think it is a wonderful way to repair broken relationships! Wonderful. It has more then repaired Sassy Pants friendship with Gerald. It has made it possible for Gerald to be the leader I always knew he could be, but I did not know how to help him over that rough spot! Sassy Pants amends has made it possible for Gerald to be a goose of destiny! One day Old Gander will be gone and Gerald will take his place as leader of the flock.

Sis: Sounds to me like you have had a real change of heart toward Sassy Pants!
Goosie: Yes, I have. When Sassy Pants and Little Molly came that day, all I could think was: Why in the world was a sweet little lamb like her hanging around with rebellious, rambunkous, ne'er do well trouble making pig?! But when I saw the results and realized how Gerald benefitted, I could just kiss that little pig, but geese don't seem to have lips so I won't be able to do that!

Sis: Do you think Sassy Pants will be able to hold up? I mean, she hurt a lot of animals, do you think she will be able to continue making amends to everyone she offended?
Goosie: I think Sassy Pants is one spunky little pig. I think she made up her mind that this was the right thing to do and regardless of how hard it might be, I think she will do it. I'm cheering for her, that's for sure. She is a sterling pig as far as I am concerned.

Sis: So would you recommend others try to apologize, ask forgiveness and make amends?
Goosie: Yes, that is my recommendation. And my opinion is that it's the only way for lasting repair! The only way. It goes beyond "I'm sorry" and builds trust again. It's the best way!

Editor: Our thanks to Goosie, Molly, Sassy Pants and Sis White for these candids from the barnyard!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Give Me A Break!

In the John 3:16 Marketing Network a number of the members have felt the warfare against the goal of the network to make an effort to flood the reading market with excellent, clean, Christ centered literature. Maybe we could see ourselves as one division of the Lord’s army in the process of taking the mountain of media/communications & entertainment!

There are some of us who are spiritually sensitive and burden bearing (taking on a portion of the burden) can sneak up on you. When burdens are not prayed through, or are only partially prayed through, and then left at the foot of Jesus cross, they build up—especially when we have stuff going on in our own lives to distract us! In the process of de-cluttering my living room I opened a book that a friend had given me. I found it insightful and I’d like to share.

“It’s important to realize that the level of personal pain or tension we carry affects what we do with the revelation we receive (about situations or others) and also affects the part of the revelation we focus on. When we are doing well, we find ourselves easily focusing on the heart of God for people. When we are doing poorly, it is tempting to use the same gift of sensing/feeling to figure out who will overwhelm us or is a threat to us. When this dynamic is active, we need to learn that it is not other people who are carrying more bad stuff—it is us! Get prayer, take a break, go on a retreat, let people love on you, deal with your issues, and the world will be a sunny place once again.

Restoring Peace in the Country

When you are dealing with strong personal emotions (whether you know why they are there or not), it often means you need to unhook and head off to somewhere quiet. When you are out in the middle of nowhere, you will find that your sensing/feeling system begins to quiet down and you return to a state of peace. Gradually, the different layers of burdens and spiritual weights you may be carrying begin to wash off.

·                 Away from all the tension, defilement, and warfare of the   
        city, the heaviness and tension you are carrying will often
        begin to lift off.

·                 Removed from the people you are ministering to, your gift
         of discernment will begin to unhook and you will come to a
         place of peace.

·                 As you retreat from any spiritual warfare going on around
         you that is connected to your church, family, or ministry,
         the battle will begin to dissipate.

With these things taken care of, you will find it far easier to recognize if what you are experiencing is burden bearing, your gift of discernment being stuck in the “on position,” or warfare and defilement; consequently, you will finally have the opportunity to pray through to peace. As well, you will be able to get a handle on whether your strong emotions are signaling that you just need to recharge or you need to get some prayer ministry to deal with past wounding.

We have an excellent role model in Scripture. Jesus had a personal discipline of going out to quiet places when in the midst of people and ministry.  For instance, upon hearing of John the Baptist’s death, Jesus immediately left all the people and went out to a quiet place. “When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself.” (Matt. 14:13)

The Lord was very aware of His own emotional condition, and knew how to detach Himself from others to recharge in “the quiet place.” In fact, we find Jesus instructing His disciples about this very practice: “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)”[1]

Taking a break is a good idea! If our Lord took a break, we, for sure, need to follow His example and for the very same reasons: Unburden our souls and clear our heads, hearts and spirits so we can hear the Lord, fill up our love tanks and by sensing the heart of God get our next directives!

If you would like an in depth treatment of burden bearing, or as some say “Burden Bearing 101,” see my two books, The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity, ISBN 10:0-7684-2592-1, 13978-0-7684-2592-5 and Highly Sensitive, ISBN 10: 0-7684-3260-X, 13: 978-0-7684-3260-2, published by Destiny Image.

(Sorry about the bullet points! I can't seem to fix it!)

[1]Dueck, Murray, Keepers of the Presence, Samuel’s Mantle Publications, Abbottsford, BC, Canada,  p. 154. 155, ISBN 978-0-9780174-3-9. Murray’s book is very helpful in regard to “living with the gift,” expounding on some 53 different “filling stations.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

The "Spark" challenge

Yikes, I said I would take the "Spark Challenge" from the and I forgot to check in to see what it was! Trisha of HouseHonco introduces a subject every Thursday that is to "spark" our thoughts and then we post our ramblings! Thursday was in response to the death of Steve Jobs. He is credited with the following quote:

"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me."

I could not agree more! You can accrue great wealth but you cannot take it with you. However, if you have done something wonderful, if you have impacted other lives in positive ways, if you have influenced people to be better, be more holy, live and love like Jesus . . . that will go with you, after you, and may even precede you! It is more a question of what you want to be rich in. Money by itself will mold or be devalued and after you are gone, it will be divided and all the "things" sold. But if you invest in people then you can be rich in lives and relationships, especially relationship with God--that's the best kind of riches. I want to arrive in Glory and have a crowd of people and angels excited that I'm there . . . I want to meet people who have been waiting for me to come so they can tell me in person how the books I wrote made their lives better and they are so grateful to God for the work I did . . . that has to be the best high ever! I want to hear those words from God, "Well done!" So I agree with Steve Jobs, doing something wonderful is what matters to me as well!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Guest Blog: Miss Molly Interview

Listening Post Interview #2 Miss Molly
Reported by: Sis White

Sis:  Hi Miss Molly. Would you be willing to talk with us about the new Sassy Pants book coming out at the end of the year?

MM:  Certainly!
Sis:  I was wondering if you could give us a little snapshot of you and Sassy Pants and how you became a team.

MM:  (Laughing) Old Clyde would be responsible for the two of us getting together. Sassy Pants and I could be called "The Odd Couple!" We were the most unlikely of all the animals on the farm to be friends! Pigs and sheep do not have anything in common. Not only that, but she and I are complete opposites--she is loud and active; I am quiet and contemplative. She loves dirt and mud; I avoid them both! Why Old Clyde chose me over anyone else is a mystery. I did not want to give Sassy Pants a second thought, much less a second chance, but amazingly, it worked. Oh, you should have seen the arched eyebrows and the strange looks when the two of us walked by!

Sis:  Any ideas as to why it did work?

MM:  I believe Old Clyde saw something in both of us that we didn't know was there. What I see in Sassy Pants is first, she is one who never gives up. Secondly, when she is convinced that something is right, she will hang in there . . . I admire her for that. When she finally understood what amends and forgiveness accomplish, she kept at it. That insensitive, disruptive, rude . . . oh, I run out of adjectives to describe her before! But she persevered and made things right with everyone she offended. Now, I am happy to say that she is one of my best friends!  I trust her.

Now for Sassy Pants, I think Old Clyde saw the sensitive heart beneath the tough exterior. The electric fence was a real shocker to Sassy Pants, but as difficult as that was, I think it was the best thing that could have happened. If no one had stopped her, I do believe her heart would have turned to stone and she would have no feeling for anyone. Amazingly, it changed her and unlocked the goodness in her heart and allowed her to become one of the most thoughtful, protective, sensitive pigs I have ever encountered. She cares. I am proud to call her "friend." Down right amazing!

Sis:  What do you think Old Clyde saw in you?
MM: Me? Well . . . I was still quite young and did not know myself nearly so well as I do now. I would say that he saw that I was one who can give second chances, and third and fourth! If you are honestly trying . . . I am with you! That's why I became the barnyard instructor. I love helping anyone who is truly trying and willing to learn. And I think he saw Sassy Pants sensitivity, that even she did not know was there. Most think of someone who is sensitive as being shy and quiet. Sassy Pants is not quiet or shy! But when it is time for her to recharge her batteries, you will find her out in the woodsy part of the pig pen or taking a quiet mud bath when no one is around. Interesting that we both recharge in the quiet, don't you think?

Sis: Miss Molly, tell me. Do you think Sassy Pants will keep at this "Amends" thing? Or will she fizzle out and quit. What she did for Gerald Gosling Goose III was impressive, but do you really think she can keep doing amends until she has repaired all her broken friendships?
MM: There is one thing you must know about Sassy Pants--she is determined! Once she makes up her mind on something, she doesn't change it! You watch. She will not quit; she will keep making amends until every last broken friendship is repaired. That's my friend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Library Science--The Road Not Taken

Since this blog is about what life is like for me as a highly sensitive person and as an author, from time to time I will write about the writing process and feature other authors’ works. Recently I was challenged by Trisha Priebe of to set my timer for five minutes and write free flow what comes out about the road not travelled!

As I thought about the topic my mind immediately went to my very first job ever. Before I graduated from high school, Mrs. Pierson, the school librarian, approached me about becoming her secretary. I had worked in the library as a student volunteer for two years—she had plenty of time to observe me and my work! Delighted, I accepted the job! She wanted me to promise her two years, and if I fulfilled the two years she promised to go to bat for me and secure a full four year scholarship to study library science.

I fully intended to fulfill that contract. I wasn’t so sure about library science; I’d been thinking I wanted to study English and then go into teaching. I didn’t know a person could have a double major, perhaps I would have learned that, or Mrs. Pierson would have told me! Despite my intentions, my heart got in the way. I met this gorgeous guy of Italian descent. The big brown eyes and wavy black hair made my brains fall out! After one full year as secretary I quit the job and went away to school to be near my heart throb. I forgot all about library science; declared English as my major and ended up studying anthropology and languages.

If I had travelled the road not taken I may have become an author sooner—living with books may have had that effect on me. I still became an author because that was God’s plan. He simply worked with the choices I made and brought me to this destination by another route. My environment acted somewhat like a vortex, sucking me into experiences and arenas that enriched and rounded out my personality. If I had become a librarian, I would not be who I am! Would I have discovered God’s revelation about burden bearing and high spiritual sensitivity or would I have hidden in the books away from the pain in the world? I would not necessarily have developed a love for internationals or become a cultural “bridge person.” I may or may not have found that I have a unique capacity to relate to those who are different from me in culture and language. I may or may not have learned to speak God’s language and translate that into English as He assigns it to be done. I would not necessarily have met my husband (he would be someone else and our children would be different people. . .) All the places we have gone, the things we have done, the lives we have touched and the friends we have made . . .  all would be different.

Choices. Choices are always followed by consequences. The choice to take one route lops off all kinds of possibilities inherent in other options! Choices open some doors and close other doors. That is neither right nor wrong; it is reality. The choice we make opens up the possibilities available to that choice. And there, my timer went off and I can explore no further!

What about you, and the choices you have made? Try writing for five minutes and then ask your spirit to edit what you have written—it might be instructive to see what changes or additions your spirit makes to what your soul has written!