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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Filling in the margins

I have learned one very vital thing is missing in my life right now... that is, I don't truly value myself as a Mom or parenting as my life work. This has many side affects- frusteration, lack of vision, hopelessness, not valuing my kids. I don't have much time to engage with this but I have come to conclude I need to fill in the small margins of my life with things that speak God's truth. I've started keeping worship music on during random play times or cleaning times during the day. And I am trying to listen to teachings about parenting or the such from people I respect during nap times. I cannot say how awesome this has been. If you want to check them out start with preparing your kids for life-part 1.

I was stuck by how God chose for me to be the Mom to my specific children, in the circumstances I am in and intends for me to succeed in training and raising them to be well rounded and passionate Christ lovers.

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lesson #1 in semantics

Oh the finer mechanics of the English language.

Lesson #1 sounded like this:
Chris: Abishai, sometimes you remind me of a little dog cause you rest your head on my leg.
Alyssa: Abs, you are stinking cute.
Bells: Abs, you're a stinking dog.


How do you explain to a four year old that that wasn't a very nice thing to say. "But you said he was stinking and Dad said he was a dog?" Well sort of...

Oh the fine and subtle meanings of language usage.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shepherding my heart...

The meaning and value of children...
Oh I wish I had a better understanding of how God views my kids. Chris asked me a striking question the other day. The context of our conversation (and many of our conversations) was this: Do we have Anibel's heart? Not her obedience, behavior. But her heart? At the time the answer was no.
Now here was his question:
But does she have our hearts? Ouch.

I have pondered this question often since that conversation weeks ago. The truth is that she often doesn't. She has my time, but often grudgingly given. She has my attention, but usually tinged with frustration. She has my devotion, but laced with duty. And I have concluded that within my principal goal of shepherding my childs heart (see Shepherding a Childs Heart, by Ted Tripp) is an even greater need to first shepherd my own heart.

There is a real part of our culture that says mothering is natural. That the first time you see your child after they are born you will be forever changed into the perfect mother for them. (That even things like nursing just happen out of instinct and are easy...NOT!) Let us just say my emotional responce was more like, "Are you sure this is mine? Now what do I do?" I've spent so much energy berating myself for not being 'the natural mother'. I have assumed that it should all come easily and that something was desperately wrong with me since it wasn't. A wise woman shared this with me: "...then they (older women) can train the younger women to love their husbands and children. " (Titus 2:4) Her thought being: if loving our kids comes naturally why does the bible say we need to be trained in how to do it?

So now I am attempting to set aside my self-berating ways and shepherd my own heart into loving my kids. I believe a popular children's book captures this kind of love well...

"I love you forever, I like you for always, as long as your living my baby you'll be..."

See in one sense it is easy to love your kids, in the cheap way our world defines love nowadays. But it is harder to like them when they wake you up 4 times a night, or like them when they talk back to you, or like (ie. enjoy, be fond of, admire, cheerish, esteem) them when they laugh at your tears, embarrass you in the grocery store, decide throwing cups water all over the kitchen is a constructive pastime, throw a toy at their baby sister's head, or interupt you 5 times in 2 minutes. And that is what I want to strive to do. Even in the hard times. To always like my children.