Sunday, March 23

Older and Wiser ... I think ...

Sorry, peeps. My Friday Confession is going to wait until next Friday. Life happens, I got supa-busy, my internet is crappy, and I haven't really been on the computer.

But let's talk about my kids. I feel like I'm gaining a little bit a wisdom with each child I have. As many of you know, I love the Pearls. They're in my links on the sidebar, under No Greater Joy. Love them! Can't say I agree 100% with everything they say, but I do agree with ... say ... 97% of it. (If you're against all kinds of physical discipline [spanking, switching, whatever you want to call it], please don't click on the link.)

I will be forever indebted to my aunt, because when I was a stupid little girl a young woman, pregnant at 18 with my first little angel, Sam, she gave me a small book called To Train Up A Child. I can honestly say that this book changed my life. As described on the website:

From successful parents, learn how to train up your children rather than discipline them up. With humor and real-life examples this book shows you how to train your children before the need to discipline arises. Be done with corrective discipline; make them allies rather than adversaries. The stress will be gone and your obedient children will praise you and bring joy and peace into your home.

I can attest that this is true. Having children should be a joyful experience! You shouldn't dread waking up each and every day; you should be rejoicing that God has chosen to bless you, a fallen and sinning human, with the lives of your dear ones; to teach, and train these innocent souls to walk in Christ.

Disclaimer: my children are not perfect. They bring me to tears of frustration. They are turning my hair gray, I'm just sure of it, even though I haven't found any gray hairs yet. They don't always behave when it really matters and we're in public or around people that don't like the idea of homeschooling sometimes. They fidget at church. They break stuff, and throw stuff, and ruin stuff, and probably wouldn't flush the toilet even if their lives depended on it.

However, my children are wonderful. The older they get, the more wonderful they get. I can't think of a single time that I've dreaded the morning (although I'm human and seem to have a deficit of patience, so I'm sure it's happened). By the way, I there are two verses every mom should memorize, and then post in 97 different places at eye-level around the house.

Psalm 30:5b Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

The NKJV says 'And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.'

How easy it is to weep at night, because we have lost heart. It's easy to grow weary. Your son is grating on your last nerve. Your daughter threw a fit in the grocery store again. Your baby won't stop throwing her food on the floor. (All of these are totally hypothetical, of course. I'm just saying, I've heard other moms talk about these things.) It's hard to be a mom! If you don't believe me, just ask yours. I'm sure she'll share some of her favorite tricks from when you were a young'en. Seriously.

But guess what? God gives us a new day! Every single day!! And chance to start over, with new attitudes, actions, and thoughts, every 24 hours!!! And joy seems to be the default emotion, if we accept what He gives us each day!

Evie is my hair-puller. Every parent seems to have at least one. And I don't mean a child that pulls hair, although I'm sure some of you have been blessed with one of those, too. I'm talking about a child that makes you want to pull your, and sometimes their, hair out at least once an hour on a fairly regular basis. She tries my limited patience, and pushes boundaries I didn't even know existed. If I ever call my mom (or Kristie or Lyndsey or Sarah or Margaret or Pace ...) in tears threatening to run off to Tijuana, it's usually Evie-induced. Her personality is wonderful, and she's full of life, and the most precious person you'd ever come into contact with. She is full of passion, but there is a flip-side to that. Ear-splitting screams of rage. Fits of anger where she flies off the handle. Crying because Sam looked at her funny. I can see pieces of her personality that we thought were so cute when she was little, and let slide. This child has serious self control issues, and that is something that in some ways, we've taught her. You don't have to teach your kids not to have self control.

We've made a lot of progress lately, after crying, praying, and changing some of our techniques. There's less tears (hers and mine, lol) and more hugs; less anger and more joy. God is good. We've got quite a ways to go, but we're making progress, and sometimes that's all you can ask for. We've had nights where I put her to bed, and she's exhausted and I'm exhausted from the stress of it all, but when we say her prayers, we thank God for the next morning, because we know there will be joy in it. We trust that He is faithful to His Word, and that if He says 'joy comes in the morning,' well then by golly! There's going to be joy! I write this to hopefully encourage you moms with young'ens. Everyone's kids have issues, and sometimes in the blogosphere, we get the impression that someone has perfect kids, and a perfect husband, and a perfect house, and a perfect life.

Here's something that might be a shock to you 'newer' moms, that you more experienced moms can attest to: you're never going to completely train your children to be perfect. You can use every 'perfect' training method. You can read them all the 'right' books. You can put them in the clothes that are the 'most appropriate' for your life style. You can go to the 'right' church. You can homeschool, lovingly using the 'right' method. But guess what? You'll never get there. You are human. Your kids are human. We live in a fallen world.

This can seem really disheartening, I know. But it's actually very freeing! You don't have the pressure of trying to produce perfect children. Yes, you strive to do your best. You have joy in the morning. You teach your kids about God's love, and about His Son who died for each one of them (Happy Easter, by the way!!). You try to live what you teach, leading by example. But there are going to be those days. But don't 'grow weary,' for you are 'doing good'!! Some seasons in life are harder than others, and some days are worse than the one before, but lots of them are better, too.

Regardless of your kids' personalities, it is possible to have joy in your home. Under any circumstances.

I know you struggle sometimes. I do, too. My struggles may be different than yours, because ... well, I'm not you! But don't be afraid to reach out when you're struggling. You might be having a bad day, wondering if you'll ever see the fruits of your training in your kids, and then you'll come across a post like this one. And it'll lift your spirit!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I love you! You make me smile, Sam, Evie and David make me smile, and reading your blog makes me smile!! You're such a great mom and I am so proud of you :)