Replacing My Manipulation with God’s Goodness

15
Jul
2014

Replacing-My-Manipluation-God's-Goodness

What a great chapter!  It is refreshing to read about parenting and realize I am not alone in the disappointments I have with myself and also my desire to do the right thing or be the best.  But striving for perfection will only bring disappointment.

Over the course of my parenting seasons, I have learned a lot.  (Remember, I have a 21, 17, 13 and 4 year old – oh BOY!)  I know my actions are extremely important and honestly, a lot of the time it is not so important what I say, but how I say it.  My body language speaks volumes and when I sit back and respond rather than react things go much better.

I am not sure I look for repentance in my children as much as I should.   In many situations, I am more interested in just getting them to do what I think they should do rather than it truly coming from their heart.  I was reminded in what Sue said, that “ultimately we are not the judge of what is completely right and wrong.  The Ultimate Judge is our parent.  Our loving Father in Heaven….”

I think many of us can fall into the spectrum of parenting, at least early on, where we are under this false idea if we do just the right things, then everything will be great.  I was certainly under this false pretense in the first few years of my parenting, but I can see how I have changed in both my approach and my expectation with my now 4 year old.

“Our teaching had moved from being grace-based and Spirit-leg to being fault-finding and condemning.”

When Sue shared this sentence in the chapter, I felt a twinge of guilt.  Yep…..I truly feel I am still working my way toward a more grace-based parenting method.  Do you feel that way too?  Curious what others think of their parenting strengths and weaknesses.  We all have them and we all will struggle with the “right” plan for our kids.

This chapter was a great reminder on how we need to re-evaluate our parenting every single day!  I think back to my ScreamFree Parenting training several years ago.  Most parenting methods are controlled or manipulative methods with our kids and honestly, is that really what we want?  No, we truly do want our kids to change their ways and learn to make better choices on their own, rather than us forcing it by manipulating and control.

Being open to learning and growing as parents is what God desires.  We are not perfect, we need to change and each of our children are different, we must adjust.  They challenge us beyond what we think we can bear, but He is there.

“He will show you times to be firm and times to show mercy.  At every moment of every day the fruit of His goodness is available to you.” 

I love that quote and I will be reminded to seek His will more often through out the day.  I admit, I am terrible at really asking Him for help during the day, or at least as often as I should.  I am a “do-et” and often just want to get through the moment, rather than slowing down to listen and hear from Him.

That is my focus this week, (I’ve made other realizations in the past, writing is a great way to come to conclusions for sure!) in the midst of the seemingly overly frustrated and exhausting…..I shall stop and ask Him to help me in the moment.

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom – Week Seven

14
Jul
2014

Main-border-study

We begin week seven of our journey reading Sue Detweiler’s book, 9 Traits of a Life Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst with God’s Best.  

Week Seven

Read  Chapter Seven – Replacing My Manipulation with God’s Goodness

Trait 1:  Goodness

I am sure this chapter will bring up some areas in our life that are painful.   We try so hard as parents to do “just the right thing or make just the right decision” and honestly – our kids are in control of their actions and choices.  It can be so frustrating and defeating.  I hope we all can explore this area throughout the week.

“Hope in the Goodness of God”

God is good and remembering that can be hard when you are in difficult situations.  Like when your child is diagnosed with a brain tumor, or you lose your home to bankruptcy or even when disaster strikes your small town.  It is hard to remember and feel His presence – I have a very difficult time in those situations for sure.  I want to grab hold no matter the circumstance and know – truly know deep down how good God is.

I will be back tomorrow with a quick post on my thoughts about Chapter Seven and will introduce some questions through out the week on the private Facebook page.  

If you haven’t printed out the prayers that are covered in the chapters click HERE on Sue’s website.  Here is this trait for Goodness!

goodness

(you will need to click through to the main blog to view the videos)

Chapter Seven Video

 

I will be back tomorrow with my thoughts as I read Chapter Seven and I’ll see you on the Facebook page!

Overcoming My Negativity with Kindness

8
Jul
2014

God's-Path-For-Your-Family

This particular chapter really spread to a topic that is ever dear to my heart and often misunderstood.  Adoption.  I found it quite interesting that Sue chose this chapter to share about her experience with adoption, and especially an adoption that was not ‘easy.’

For those who may not know part of my story, I had never thought in my ENTIRE LIFE about adoption, up until about 6 years ago.  Then my life changed, as God revealed His heart to have me be a vessel to care for one of His children.  I had never once wanted to adopt, thought of adoption and did not truly believe that my heart could love another child that I didn’t give birth to.

Now that may sound a bit harsh, but it was a fear I had – even after God put the thought of adoption on my heart, that I would be able to care for physical needs, but to truly love another child that someone else gave birth to was a real fear.

“As mothers, we have the unique privilege of partnering with God to give life to our children.”

I will say God works when we need Him too for sure – as he worked in my heart and overcame my fear for me.  :-)  

Back to the negativity that creeps in….the tones that sneak around the corner and come from nowhere.  I relate – too easily.  What hit me when I read this chapter is this quote:

“As a mom I have been too results-oreinted and not enough process-oriented.”

I tend to not give as much attention to the process or maybe how I get them there.  This is a weak area for me.  I want kids that can do what they need to do, but I can often forget that their feelings and who I teach them to manage tasks and teach abilities are also equally important.

I think this was brought home to me even more when this little child was brought into our home at the age of 12 months and I realized that I didn’t have the history to know what his little heart had been through before I met him.  I have to consciously stop and think what he has seen or experienced that I am unaware of.

I need to remember that I am here to love first and teach second, a different approach then I perhaps had with my previous children.  Thankfully I am older and I hope just a bit wiser to know that I can be more aware of these needs of his – which is precisely why God waited so long to put the thought of adoption on my heart.

I needed to mature in His ways.

And I still am maturing and will continue till I leave this earth.  I have many negative parenting traps that I have to constantly ‘nip’ so that I can re-direct my path.  I apologize and reframe my requests.  I am a work in process.

I need to consistently show kindness to my kids – well to everyone – but especially my kids and I know I can’t do this in my own strength – hardly!  My mind can play tricks, repeat bad verbiage in my head and create bad patterns.  I need HIM everyday to help guide me.

My biggest takeaway for this week:

“How much are you affirming your kids’ value?  It’s probably easy to affirm and rejoice in your children when they are making positive choices.  It is easy to let the light in your eyes delight over them when there is a positive connection between you, but what about when your relationship is strained?”

oh, okay and one more goodie!!

“God’s kindness will lead you into adventures of faith.  The good news is that He equips those He calls.  There is more than enough grace to receive God’s promise.  Embrace God’s path for your family.”

Don’t forget to use the amazon link below when you purchase on amazon to share the LOVE with three girls in India – each time you purchase you are making a donation to their sponsorship through Compassion!!

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom – Week Six

7
Jul
2014

Main-border-study

We begin week six of our journey reading Sue Detweiler’s book, 9 Traits of a Life Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst with God’s Best.  

Week Six

Read  Chapter Six – Replacing My Negativity with God’s Kindness

Trait:  Kindness

“Kindness is love in motion.”

I love that simple definition for Kindness.  How I wish I could remember that all the time.  I think I will write it on sticky notes and post it in key places so I can see it, read it and embed it in my heart.

I find that I get busy and can easily get short with my kids and my husband.  I tend to get stressed and anxious, which heightens my inability to actively share kind words and actions.  UGH!  I hate to remember all the times I have fallen short.

Feel free to begin the questions in the Study Guide, which can be found in the back of your book, Lesson 6.  Have a journal you can write down your answers and reflections to the questions – be honest and spend some time here ladies.  Have you taken the time during the study to thoroughly visit each trait and actively allow God to work?

I will be back tomorrow with a quick post on my thoughts about Chapter Six and will introduce some questions through out the week on the private Facebook page.  

If you haven’t printed out the prayers that are covered in the chapters click HERE on Sue’s website.  Here is this week’s trait of Kindness – it’s a good one! 

6.-The-Fruit-of-Kindness

(you will need to click through to the main blog to view the videos)

Chapter Six Video

 

I will be back tomorrow with my thoughts as I read Chapter Six and I’ll see you on the Facebook page!

Replacing My Frustration with God’s Patience

1
Jul
2014

Replacing-Frustration-God's-Patience Um, I really feel like I have no business even discussing this topic.  I am truly the most impatient person – EVER!  I do know that God is trying to build me in areas that I am not already proficient at though, by allowing me to stay in this role of motherhood a little longer, by the adoption of our youngest almost two years ago. I guess he felt I really needed more time to have the fruit of the spirit developed in me and allowing a beautiful little child who needed a home to help me work through it all.

“Being a mom can vacillate between the sweetness of hugs and kisses to feeling like you are in jail.” 

Do you feel like that sometime?  It is true, we can often feel trapped and helpless…..overcome by what our to-do list has on it and the lack of un-interrupted time we have to do it in.  We are exhausted and putting severe pressure on ourselves to be perfect.  UGH!  That perfection can drive us really crazy.  If we just gave ourselves some grace….some much needed grace. I related to Sue’s discovery that she was choosing to be frustrated.  I can let myself easily fall into the same pattern.  I can control my thoughts and when I allow frustration to seep in, it will quickly destroy the environment.  My day can go down the drain and my attitude goes to the gutter.  I am ashamed to admit that I can easily get really frustrated, impatient and sour. I have to learn the true meaning of sacrifice.  I am serving this beautiful family of mine and when I can remind myself of this and have THAT be the expectation I can keep my attitude in check, along with my patience.  But when I allow the daily grind to overcome the feelings of a servants heart, that is when things fall apart. Spending time with the Lord daily is KEY!  The days that doesn’t happen are days that begin to fall apart for me early on.  Also, Sue reminds us that building strategies and routines into our day can help us have a buffer zone that will hopefully prevent melt-downs – yes, those melt-downs of our own!   When we lose our patience and yell or scream, it is us who have the melt-down, no our kids.  As adults, we are called to be adults and learn to manage our emotions – truly something I am still learning to do.

“Sometimes it is the simplest of things that restore peace and order to a mom’s perspective.”

I need to make to sure build into my day little bits of time where I can find restoration in the midst of busyness and stress.  I like to make time to workout – that is a big stress reliever for me, so making this a priority is a must.  I especially love my routine right now with my Focus T25 – doing it first thing in the morning has it crossed off my list and feeling very accomplished!!   I also like to play soothing music at home and it can make a huge difference in my state of mind.  Having Pandora has been a life saver for me, I can pick from so many types of music easily and without a lot of trouble.  Making time for myself to eat is another one I have to be intentional about.  I know for us moms, we take time to feed our kiddos the best stuff, and often we skip meals or just eat the left overs.  Your body need nourishment and you need to make it a priority.  Being hungry is a trigger for me to become cranky and irritated very fast! What are your tips and tricks to having more patience in your day?