My daughter can be sooooo slow getting ready. I found myself getting really frustrated trying to get out the door, and rushing her. Then, I read this verse: “Calmness can lay great errors to rest.” (Eccl. 10:4)
That morning, instead of hollering up to my daughter to hurry up and come downstairs, I went up to see if she needed any help. After trying the former many times, I prefer the latter. We walked downstairs to breakfast in peace.
Before we left for school, we started the process five minutes earlier, so even though she was taking a long time to simply put her shoes on, I didn’t need to rush her.
The words, “Hurry up”, wanted to seep out of my mouth, but I sealed my lips.
And one minute later, she was ready. Our morning was much more peaceful for her, her siblings, and me, because I didn’t rush her.
One minute. It was worth it to bite my tongue.
Believe me, I’m not always that patient, but I sure hope to get better at it. Instead of creating moments of worry and anxiety, I can help create moments of joy and peace.
Instead of depleting those moments, we can add to them by LEADING with peace.
I love this quote from Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts” about one pastor’s greatest regret in life:
“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.”
Let’s embrace the thousand gifts, tens of thousands, right in front of us, by slowing down, mimicking our kids’ pace, and welcoming His peace.
Let Summer Begin!!!
Instead of seeing this time with our kids as fleeting, like sand slipping through our fingers, we can see it as sand building, time gaining, as we stand on the brink of eternity.
After giving my daughter a consequence the other day, along with a few minutes to settle down, I made sure to continue speaking to her in a loving way.
I had to rise above my frustration and show my daughter that her actions and response DIDN’T MOVE ME – they didn’t change how I felt about her.
Even though my daughter knew the consequence stood, her defenses lowered when she saw my consistent loving attitude toward her. She went from saying this was “the worst day” to feeling secure enough to move forward pretty quickly. We ended up having an awesome hike twenty minutes after the episode and she said, “Mommy, this did turn out to be the best day.”
My daughter saw that how the day went was her choice.
It definitely doesn’t always turn out like this. And, I don’t always respond this way. But, seeing the fruit from me being the ANCHOR and continuing to SPEAK LOVE into my daughter alongside the consequence, sure made me want to try and do this the next time.
When my kids can’t sleep, they love for me to tell a story to “start” their dreams. As I leave the room, I tell them to finish their dreams and that I want to hear what happens in the morning.
I just turn whatever pops into my mind that they’d like into a story (it doesn’t take much to entertain kids!). For example: “Once upon a time there were two unicorns who couldn’t fly. They walked down the road together feeling so sad. Suddenly, a tiny mouse popped out from behind a rock. He squeaked, “If you follow me, I’ll take you to the magical land that will give you wings so you can fly high into the sky.”
Then I tell them to finish the story and that I can’t wait to hear about it in the morning. I do this from time to time when they can’t sleep, are frustrated or scared, or if they simply ask me to. Sharing an imaginative story is a fun, sweet way to calm their hearts and bring them into dreamland.
How can we go beyond the surface for Memorial Day? How can we reach those who have lost loved ones? How can we help their loved ones’ legacies live on?
My friend, Tyler, died while serving in Iraq. When I think of his family, my heart aches for them. I want his family to know I have talked to my kids about Tyler, who he was, and his kindness and bravery. I want his family to know that we are so grateful for him and that his legacy lives on.
I asked our kids, “What can we do to show Tyler’s family we are grateful for him?” My daughter said, “Send them cards!”
So we all made them cards. It was difficult at first and it took us a while because they wondered what to write. I explained that he was a kind and brave friend of mine who died in the war serving our country. We have freedom because of him and all the people who serve and served our country.
I guided them with ideas that might encourage his family, but I also told them to write from their hearts in their own words. There is something special about a kids’ words as they are raw and honest.
If you are one of the families who lost a loved one serving our country – thank you. I pray today that the Lord would comfort you, and that you would know our gratefulness for you and the heroic sacrifice of your loved one. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Remembering those who served and lost their lives makes me want to soak in this time with those right in front me. I am taken back to the words of Corrie ten Boom, a holocaust survivor and hero.
In1944, after hiding Jews behind a wall in her home, Corrie ten Boom was sentenced to prison camps and solitary confinement. After a month, she was allowed to leave her cell to take a shower.
In her inspirational book, The Hiding Place, Corrie wrote: “How rich is anyone who can simply see human faces! The shower too was glorious: warm clean water over my festering skin, streams of water through my matted hair.”
How Rich is Anyone. Anyone who can simply see human faces.
When we’re with our friends, spouses, and children, let’s indulge in the richness of being face to face.
The richness of being able to talk. To connect. To be together.
What a gift.
Jesus embraced this gift of being face to face.
People were never an inconvenience to him. Ever.
When Zacchaeus was in the tree, Jesus sought him out.
When leaders rebuked the blind beggar, Jesus called the man to him.
When the disciples told the children to leave, Jesus called them to him.
When Jesus saw a crippled woman, he stopped preaching and healed her.
Jesus walked through life with his twelve disciples and many others. He took the gift of being with people to heart and made time for people.
Let’s do the same and soak in the gift of being face to face.
Indeed, “how rich is anyone who can simply see human faces!”
Many times after falling short with my kids, I’ve wanted to say, “I’m sorry”, over and over again, but I’ve been trying not to. I don’t want my kids to think they need to ask for forgiveness again and again to be forgiven.
Just before Jesus died and rose again, he said, “It is finished.” Not “It is halfway done”, but “It. Is. Finished.” The Lord COMPLETELY forgives us when we ask him to. It’s over. Done. Erased.
By not apologizing over and over to our kids about the same thing, we can SHOW them that once they ask for forgiveness for something, they are also fully forgiven. Period. It’s over. Done. Erased. No need to bring it up again.
The Beauty of Grace & Forgiveness.
My recent article published by Her View From Home:
The other night was marked by my 6-year-old daughter’s mega meltdown.
I racked my brain for any way to help her escape her bad mood. She suddenly yelled, “I’m mad at everyone and no one in this family likes me!”
Huh? We constantly tell our kids how much we love them so this curve ball threw me for a loop. Until I remembered she’s a child, upset, and just needs to let it out. I thought about my daughter adjusting to full-day school in first grade, and the many expectations placed on her there and at home.
As I listened to her wail, watched tears flood her hazel eyes, and anger pour from her lips, I drew her close and hugged her tight. I didn’t give another exhausting lesson on good attitudes, but just let her be. I let her release. Silence and comfort calmed her and she melted in my arms.
There isn’t always an easy answer. Sometimes we just have a bad day. It is what it is.
I try to remind myself that it’s OK to be in that and not get cheered up. As Psalm 30:5 says, “Joy comes in the morning.” Another day will be here, and our spirits will be lifted. To continue reading, click here: Sometimes Kids Have Bad Days, Too.
With a busy week last week, I’ve been thinking about all of you single parents, as well as those of you with spouses deployed, and ways we can rally around you:
My husband was on a work trip for one week. One week. And I was so grateful when he returned. But my mind went straight to single parents and those with spouses deployed: balancing all the sports’ activities, coordinating rides when one of your kids is sick, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and just keeping up with it all.
How do you do it?
You. Are. Superheroes.
But, if you ever need help, please reach out.
To those of us not in this situation, how can we help?
Is there a single parent or a parent whose spouse is deployed we could drop a meal off to? Or watch their kids for an hour or two? Or just go over to their house and hang with them so they don’t have to get a babysitter anytime they want friend time? Any more ideas? Please share them!
Let’s show our support so these superheroes know they’re not alone.
That we have their back.
That we are for them.
It takes a village. So, let’s be that village.