I love what the Lord is doing in my life even though it's hard at times. But it's where I am and doesn't the Lord love us right where we are? Doesn't he meet us right where we are? In order for us to grow we need to be honest with him and ourselves about what's going on in our hearts. Of course, he already knows but do we? That's why I love meeting with the Lord. For one, he's not afraid to tell me whether it be gentle, firm, or direct-depends on how soft my heart is towards him. :) And I'll be honest he's used all three of those on me. I want to share with you part of my journey right now. It's kind of a continuing story from my last blog...
About a month or so ago I had a friend ask if we could grab coffee one evening. I REALLY enjoy this friend and think very highly of her and so I was thrilled when she asked. I also love one on one time with other ladies, coffee, time away from the kids...I could go on. So we met one evening at Barnes and Noble and meandered around the store for a while then found ourselves in the bakery area sitting and talking about family, kids, etc.
I was caught off guard when my friend had tears in her eyes with concern for me. I wasn't sure how to respond so I just listened. I listened to her say that she's heard me talk about my anger, my hardships with my oldest son, my frustrations with being a mom, etc. She asked "what will it take to make a change? What is going to break you so that you understand the damage it's creating for you and your family. I'm concerned for you b/c I know you don't want your kids to grow up in that environment. I want to help you overcome this so you don't pass it on to your kids."
Wow-she was right. Remember from the last blog how I talked about getting weary of doing what I want to do or know to do is right? That's the wall I keep hitting up against. I cried, she cried and we talked about how I can change nothing about my situation but everything about myself; how I respond, how I act, what I say, etc. I want to blame others for my actions, circumstances, frustrations but only I am to blame b/c only I am in charge of me.
So since that night the Lord has really brought me through some days of seeing progress and days of being on my knees out of frustration. The Lord and I have had some really hard conversations as well as encouraging ones. I have begun to implement some parenting styles I have read about that have helped take the emotion out of parenting...which if you have kids you understand is HARD! But I have seen success and it's very freeing. I have also written out what I call a Love Dare for my kids. I have yet to start it officially but it has been on my mind and I have found myself living some of them out already. I will share that at the end if anyone wants to do their own or go along with me. I will be starting it Monday October 24. (this gives me accountability!)
Most of all I have learned to rely on the Lord for my actions. Learning that it's not about me but it's about Christ being perfected in me-which I know will not be complete until the day I am joined with him forever. I am learning that discipling my kids is about leading them to Christ not teaching them to act the way I want them to. It's all about the heart...my heart and their heart.
This is just a small snapshot of what the Lord is doing but the kids are waking up and so I must wrap it up but if you think of me please pray for me as I do this Love Dare for me and my kids. I got the idea from the movie FireProof-if you haven't seen it I encourage you to. It's about saving a marriage relationship but at this point in my life it's about saving my relationship with my kids. I will do one a day and add on each day.
Jesus bless you in your journey wherever you are with Him!
My Love Dare
1. Stop telling Charlie to “be quiet”. (I do this a lot even when Brett ISN’T sleeping)
2. Say yes to as much as possible-not maybe, we’ll see, or later but YES with enthusiasm. (I see Patrick do this a lot and miss out on the joy Charlie spills b/c of a simple yes)
3. Physically take a step (or two) back and cover my mouth when I’m angry/frustrated/mad so as not to spill my anger onto my kids
4. Take 20 minutes each day with each kid alone and play/read books/color/bake-but have it focused on what THEY want to do (even if I don’t feel like that activity)
5. Reread through the proverbs and continue underlining (in pink) scriptures that speak to my life as of now
6. Say nothing negative to or about my kids
7. Say one thing you like about Charlie and Brett to them once a day
8. Stop trying to control them
9. Make a list of positive things about each of their characters
10. Even when Charlie wakes up grumpy from a nap or wants Daddy in the morning I will not let that affect my love for him or my mood for the day
11. Surprise them with things they enjoy (candy, doughnut, movie, playdate, etc.)
12. Write them notes (even though they can’t read) about why I love them
13. Pray for three specific areas in each childs life
14. Take Charlie on “mommy/son” dates once a month
15. Find scripture verses specifically for them
16. Evaluate how you are doing…maybe ask Patrick what he has seen-good and bad
17. Learn to put a name to their feelings and let them feel it (you seem happy, you seem angry, looks like you might be frustrated with that toy, etc.)
18. LISTEN…don’t always feel the need to jump in and correct. Let them try and figure it out themselves as they talk-give them the chance to be proud of themselves!
19. Learn to walk them through their feelings if they aren’t satisfied with just putting a name to them (It would taste good to have a banana right now, that would be fun if we could fix that toy, that would be a great if it was summer time all the time, etc.)
20. Letting go of my perfectionist attitude.
Now some of these things will be daily, some weekly, some monthly, and some one time. And I haven't decided yet if I want to go in the order I've typed them...it's just how they came to me. I'll try and blog about how I'm doing-good or bad! :) Until then...continue letting the Lord meet you where you are!