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What I Learned At The Sally Clarkson Mom Heart Conference ~Part 1

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Women Living Well Blog: What I Learned At The Sally Clarkson Mom Heart Conference ~Part 1

Women Living Well Blog

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What I Learned At The Sally Clarkson Mom Heart Conference ~Part 1

Last weekend I flew to Dallas, Texas where Angela from met me at the airport and off to Sally's Mom Heart Conference we went. {Big shout out to my hubby for taking off work to watch the kids! Thanks honey!}

I have pages and pages of notes I wish I could share with you. Sally filled my heart full with truth, ideals, inspiration and hope. Here are some of the quotes that I am still pondering (Sally had a few guest speakers, so some of these quotes include her guests):

Ephesians 6:4 says “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

My response to my children’s sin is my responsibility.

It is God’s kindness that leads to repentance – our kindness will lead to our child’s repentance.

God is most pleased when he is revealed in us.

God in his infinite wisdom gave our children to us. We are in the right place, now maximize our time with them.

The little babies we have held in our arms have implications for eternity. What will I do to whisper into these children the secrets of the kingdom of God?

Every child hopes they will have a mommy that will tell stories, love them, listen to them and speak truth into their lives.

Choices have consequences. Satan wants us to think choices have no implications.

Teach your children to have purpose in life – their purpose is to influence the word rather than the world influence them.

We are called to teach our children the word of God – one brick at a time – one verse at a time – build a foundation. Give them thousands of hours of walking with God in his word with you.

A great place to influence children is over food.

God is not limited by any situation except by our lack of faith.

If you don’t choose to walk in the light your soul will become dark.

Am I being what I want my children to become?

Being a grump is not a good legacy to have. lol!

We are parenting our children while God is parenting us. God is training us while we train our children.

Do not give your children negative uninspiring labels.

We will reap what we sow in parenting.

Do you want your children to be holy or shallow and happy?

Sally said “Be on guard against trying to follow formulas". For example, “First time obedience”. God does not demand 1st time obedience of us. There’s this threat in some books “if you don’t get first time obedience you’ll lose their soul” Sally says – no put them to bed – give them a snack – maybe they are tired or hungry… Sometimes it’s the parent who is the strong willed child! Parent out of faith not fear. It’s the kindness and meekness of God that leads to repentance. He gives 2nd chances.
Update: Some commented and emailed about this point - Sally took the time last night to write up a full blog post explaining this further. Please go to her blog I Take Joy for more thoughts on this ~

Put aside legalism and what you think your family should “look” like.

God has access to our kid’s brains. We are called to be like Jesus toward them…and let God be God in their lives – relinquish control to God or you will exasperate them.
No one can live a holy life for you.

Be intentional as you raise your children. Treat them like a garden - planting, watering and weeding.
Do not give up on your ideals. Stay faithful. It is God's will for you to be an overcomer!

Whew - that's a lot to chew on isn't it?! I have loads more but I'll save it for part 2 on Wednesday! So which of the above quotes whispered truth into your heart that you needed to hear today? Share it with me in the comments section.

Walk with the King,



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks you for taking the time to write that out, this message is so timely and just what I needed to hear tonight!

February 27, 2011 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Bobbi Jo said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing the message with us. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

February 27, 2011 at 10:44 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Sounds like a wonderful conference! I wish there was one close to where I live..I do have a question though. I believe that we are suppose to teach first time obedience to our children, and am surprised Sally would disagree with that. Would you mind elaborating on that more? I understand there are definitely times when our children are over tired and hungry, and need grace. However there are times when children outwardly defy their parents...shouldn't they be trained to obey right away?
I'm not trying to stir up a debate, I just genuinely want to teach my children about God and am wondering if I'm misunderstanding something?
Thank you for sharing about the conference!

February 27, 2011 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

The quote I liked was God is parenting/training us while we are parenting/training our children. When I fall short and God is putting me in check, that doesn't mean that I stop training my kids. I'll never be perfect, but I have to keep trying to do God's will. I must encourage and train my children to do the same.

Take care,

February 27, 2011 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 27, 2011 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

Thank you, Courtney, for this post. I really was encouraged in my mommy-job through these words and am looking forward to part two. I esp. liked, "Am I being what I want my children to become?" Wow and Ouch.
Also, can you further clarify, "Do not give your children negative uninspiring labels." Can you give an example of what that means?
Thank you!

February 27, 2011 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thank you so much for sharing! There is so much there to take to heart. My favorite is that we need to influence the world not let the world be the influence.

February 28, 2011 at 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Sally Clarkson said...

Hi, Courtney,
I am so glad you were blessed by the conference. I loved seeing you. In light of some of the questions you might get on the "first time obedience" question, I wrote a blog post about it and childhood discipline so that you would not have to answer too many comments about it. I was going to write this anyway, so you helped me to get to it. Blessings to you in all the wonderful words you give to us moms. Love to you.

(answers at

February 28, 2011 at 1:11 AM  
Blogger Claire said...

It sounds like a wonderful experience!


February 28, 2011 at 5:14 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

Thank you for sharing. My soul was convicted on a few of these. I must attend next year. It sounds like a wonderful and encouraging conference.

February 28, 2011 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Lecia said...

I am going to pring this out and read it often. What Godly wisdom here!

Putting aside what I think my family should look like, that has spoken to me. I have an idea in my head of the perfect homelife and I feel like a failure when I see how we fall short.

Also, the first time obedience issue is something I struggle with. Because again, I think christian families have children who insist on first time obedience. But God is a God of second chances.

I am going to link over here from my blog. This is a great post.

February 28, 2011 at 6:46 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Jessica - Sally has answered your question over on her blog here:

Hope this helps!

February 28, 2011 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger DEB said...

My response to my children’s sin is my responsibility -- this one spoke to me. I am always teaching my kids mainly my son that he can not blame his anger or frustration on me or anyone else...he is repsonsible for that. However I sometimes (although thankfully usually only in my head) find myself thinking that he is the cause of mine. I can only control my response...thus modeling a good one for him (them)!

February 28, 2011 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...


I think what Sally meant by "uninspiring labels" are labels that we put on our children for certain repetitive bad behaviors that don't inspire our children to greatness but rather discourage them.

For example...when the angel of the Lord found Gideon he was hiding yet the angel said "The Lord is is with you mighty warrior" (Judges 6:12). The angel was speaking of what he would become - rather than labeling him a coward - he labeled him a mighty warrior - how inspiring!

We want to inspire our children with our words rather than giving them a harsh label that they have to live with that only discourages them.

Hope this helps.
Much Love,.

February 28, 2011 at 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“if you don’t get first time obedience you’ll lose their soul” Sometimes it’s the parent who is the strong willed child! Parent out of faith not fear. It’s the kindness and meekness of God that leads to repentance. He gives 2nd chances. This really spoke to my heart. For the first time ever my 12 yr. old son is getting lunch and recess detentions. He doesn't like getting in trouble and cries each time showing great remorse. I have spoken many verses to him including Eph. 6. He doesn't seem to be able to think a step or two ahead to the consequences of his actions. Do I think he's losing his soul? No! I think he needs to mature more. I try to lead by example and encourage him by telling him I believe in him and my job is to raise him to be of good character. I'm raising him in a good Bible based church. He goes every Wednesday for middle school service while I attend my women's group and he attends with me for regular service every Sunday. He sees me reading my Bible, watching preachers on tv, listening to christian music, preparing for my Bible study. Of course, I tell him I pray for him every day. I told him exactly what I pray for. I want him to know how much I care for him and my expectations. I think being as consistent as possible helps. Thanks for posting. I learn a lot from reading your blog!

February 28, 2011 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Lizzy said...

Oh I LOVE Sally! And I love your blog too--so what a gift this is this morning to find! Thank you for these great notes--I hope to get to one of her conferences when she's this way, but what a blessing to have your insights too ;)

February 28, 2011 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Regina said...

Many of these spoke to me but I really love "God has access to our kids brains". I really needed to know this at a time when our son is going thru some struggles.

Thank you!

February 28, 2011 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Janelle Nehrenz said...

Courtney, what a beautiful, I have already decided I need to print off this list! Very encouraging! love ya, Janelle

February 28, 2011 at 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Gwen said...

" God in his infinite wisdom gave our children to us. We are in the right place, now maximize our time with them."
I'm probably going to be homeschooling next year, so this really spoke to me.

February 28, 2011 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth Sue said...

"Satan wants us to think choices have no implications."

Thank you for sharing this Courtney!
Love to you and I love your blog!

February 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Great post! I read Sally's post and LOVED, "Formulas like 'First Time Obedience' do not necessarily reach the heart!" My first several years of parenting were SO hard because I felt pressured to follow formulas. I won't mention the name of the book series but it is highly recommended by some of my family and in many Christian circles. I dislike the series. There are good ideas in it but overall it frustrates me and has caused lots of tears in our house. I finally pushed it aside a few years back but still struggle with the pressure. It is almost as if people expect if you do everything right the first 5 years then you should have "somewhat perfect" kids. I have 3 silly, energetic boys and trying to get them to sit quietly on a blanket (as nice of an idea as that is) just isn't reality! I also LOVED Sally thoughts about realistic expectations of young children. Again, some formulas expect a toddler to be trained perfectly. It is so frustrating especially with 3 silly, energetic boys! Man I wish I could go back 10 years and start over. I am impressed with Sally Clarkson and will definitely be reading more of her stuff. Thanks Sally and Courtney for all your hard work! You are appreciated!

February 28, 2011 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Sam said...

I have had the great blessing of hearing Sally speak at a home school conference in Ontario,Canada. She's wonderful. Just curious if you could elaborate on the comment about God is never limited except by our lack of faith...(paraphrased that sorry). I wondered the context of that, it's making me struggle and I love a good struggle when it makes me pursue God. I didn't think even our lack of faith could limit God. I've always understood him to be the Alpha and Omega, limitless in all circumstance. Thots?

February 28, 2011 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Brittany Reichmuth said...

Hi Courtney!
I've been reading Song of Solomon & commentary --regarding "good Christian Sex" in marriage. I've been taking "human Sexuality" at a christian university. It's CHANGED how I embrace our marriage, and I wanted to share it with you!
that's my post about it!
I hope you find it educational & inspiring! :)

February 28, 2011 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Lisa Maria said...

Thank you for sharing this Courtney, after reading it I realise I have a lot of growing to do still and, as someone else said, I wish I could do a rewind of my life. Since I can't do that.. I just have to press forward and try to implement some of these strategies into my approach with the children. And boy is God parenting me!

I'm still learning to let God have control in their lives...especially the almost 20 and the 18 year old! Its not easy.. but for the Grace of God we go!

God bless!

February 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Courtney! As a home educating mom of 4, I find your blog very encouraging and affirming in my daily work. My heart gravitates to the intentional ways I can train my children for the Lord's Kingdom and keep my family walking in His word (I am currently reading Sally's The Mission of Motherhood). However, lately I find myself (through blogs, mostly)comparing my life to those Christian moms around me and feeling like I am not doing enough (and as a result minimizing the importance of this task of motherhood). I feel like some are saying "sure, it is great to love your family, but if you are not doing XYZ to save the orphans/poor/world on top of that, you are selfish and not truly doing God's work." All of this is hard to put into words,and I don't want to be misunderstood...we are definitely called to help others. I just feel like God has placed this desire in my heart for my family (really families in general) which can often feel like a full-time job, but I feel discouraged with voices that seem to be saying "it's just not enough". I guess my question is, how do you balance that out in your life? Do you ever feel that pressure? What are ways you "reach out" to the world around you with your kids without making it one more task a modern Christian woman is expected to juggle? Just need a little encouragement today. Thanks~ Nicole

February 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the quote "Put legalism aside". Too often we get stuck on the rules or what we think things should be. We forget that God created us and placed us in our families and we should celebrate who we are (not who we think we should be). Thanks for sharing - sounds like it was a great conference.

February 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Blondie said...

I love "Am I being what I want my children to become?" Linda

February 28, 2011 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger The Eclectic Dabbler said...

Which quotes impacted me? Wow--almost all of them?!
If I have to narrow it down, I would say:
1) "Am I being what I want my children to become?"
2) "Give them thousands of hours of walking with God in his word with you." (Thousands of hours?! Yes! What potential for God's Word to transform their lives as they learn to love God for all that He is!)
3) "Being a grump is not a good legacy to have. LOL!"
I needed this today--as a mom of a 4-year old girl, 2-1/2 year old boy, a 1-year old girl, and due in July with #4! Sometimes just the logistics of caring for several at this age, and the coordinating of schedules & housework & church stuff–not to mention discipline issues and training the baby high chair manners–can be overwhelming.
But you are right: 2 Peter tells us that God has given us “all we need for life and godliness.” We need to find our peace in Him and in His promises–which are “new every morning.” Great is His faithfulness!!
Thanks so much for the encouragement. I'm going to pass these quotes along to other mom friends too.

February 28, 2011 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Gertha said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 1, 2011 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Gertha said...

Hi Courtney!

This wisdom is what I need. This one became engraved in my heart;
"God has access to our kid’s brains. We are called to be like Jesus toward them…and let God be God in their lives – relinquish control to God or you will exasperate them."

Thank you for sharing Mrs. Clarkson's wisdom with us.

Priceless post!

March 1, 2011 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Gertha said...

Courtney, I removed my first post because it published the same comment twice. Just wanted to let you know(:

March 1, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Far Above Rubies said...

Encouraging post, Courtney.

I do believe in first-time obedience, but also understand that I need to be flexible in certain situations.

For example, if my child is tired, then I give them what they need - a nap. ;-)

Seeking God for his continual guidance in our parenting is definitely crucial.

Again, thank you.

March 2, 2011 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing HIs message with me. Goodness, I can hardly wait to read more. Delighted to meet you today. I hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a refreshing spot to get drenched in goodness.


March 5, 2011 at 11:53 PM  
Blogger Talley Family said...

I love your blog! Thanks so much! I would love to know what your comments are regarding John Rosemond!

March 6, 2011 at 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Beals said...

We have five children, three teens and an 11 and 8 yo. I love our kids. They are so much fun to be around! We have had three teens and, by God's grace, NONE of the turbulent rebellion that others expect in teens. They are not perfect, but each one is learning what we as parents are learning- total dependence on God and submission to His will. If you emphasize that you are trying to obey God, then your children will naturally see that example and know that this is the norm for a Christian.
Some things I would tell a young mother of young children:
1. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble...especially in the context of raising His children, which are on loan to you, the parent. Be humble when you give parents formulas for raising children a "certain way."
2. Your child is watching your life and will become like you.
3. We have worked in youth ministry for 18 years and this is so true: Usually the sin that you see in your child is also true of you, but you are just too blind to see it. Meditate on that for a while...
4. ASK question, don't accuse your children, when you are trying to get them to make a heart connection between what they did and why they did it. "What were you thinking when you did that? What was your hearts goal?" instead of "You never remember to do your chore. You are so lazy."
5. We are told to make disciples, and as moms, our children should get the first fruit of our efforts. And, is your life one that you would want duplicated? We are training children to be like us, whether we like it or not.
6. Relationship first, then rules. Not the other way around. Your kids need to know you love them and want to be with them over anyone else. Rules without relationship will cause bitterness.

Parenting is the fast track to sanctification!
May you all depend on your God!

March 9, 2011 at 11:35 PM  
Anonymous sarah Beals said...

Some wisdom my mom has passed along to me: "Be kind. When you die, you don't want them to sing "Ding dong, the witch is dead, the wicked witch, the wicked witch..."
Sarah Beals

March 9, 2011 at 11:39 PM  

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