"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace
that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." Ephesians 1:7-8

Monday, January 23, 2012

Window into the Heart

We've had three cold and rainy days and I've been faced with how hard it is to be a mom. I'm seeing their sin and my sin. They've been selfish, unkind, disrespectful and unloving towards each other. Are they mimicking my sin? The volume in the house is too loud. Their energy is about to combust. They have scratches on their cheeks from where they've pinched or scratched each other. Mealtimes have been a circus of silliness and bad manners. If their actions are a window into their hearts then we have a lot of heart surgery to do!!

I've had moments of feeling like I need to be fired from my job as mom, but I'm reminded and encouraged at this moment that somehow this is the job that God has called me to do. I'm so thankful I don't need to do it alone. Actually, it's impossible to do it in my own strength. God is with me and I NEED HIM!!! That much is abundantly clear.

It seems that cyclically I need to be reminded of the importance of my job as mom and the endurance that is required. If I get lazy and attempt to check out mentally, things go downhill fast! It was exactly 4 months ago that I wrote this post about training my children. It's time to remember the part about "training" my little apprentices and not just commenting on their inappropriate behavior. And NO MORE SCREECHING!!!! :)

So, Holy Spirit, I'm ready!! Teach me and lead me. I'm on my knees praying for guidance and wisdom. I've got three little boys that I want to grow up to be men of God who are following You and Your ways. I can't waste another moment.

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6

"...bring [your children] up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

It's so tempting to focus on just wanting them to change their outward behavior, but my true desire is to figure out what their behavior is saying about their hearts. So, with that in mind I'm scouring scripture and re-reading the book, "Don't Make Me Count to Three! A Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline" by Ginger Plowman. This will be the third time I've read this book and I'm praying God will use it and the scriptures I read to guide and direct me. If you have a favorite parenting book that addresses the heart issues that tie into discipline, I'd love to hear about it.

Ohh.. and I'm praying for some sunshine tomorrow so these boys can get some exercise! :)

1 comment:

  1. Jill, you may be stressing over things that fall under the "Pan End" of parenting...things that will "pan out in the end." I think siblings have to fight-it-out now in order to right-it-out as adults.

    I can tell you this: I made the decision to let my kids argue some and be angry with each other. I no longer get involved with squabbles over the remote or other mundane topics. "Go figure it out" is now my Phrase of the Day. If I want a son who can one day be the leader of his home, then he needs to learn how others react when he yells at them and how to be more diplomatic. I can be diplomatic for him, but what does he learn when I do that?

    Analyze whether you're trying to block them from establishing dominance and determining their own family hierarchy. They're not equals. When I came to that realization with my kids, my parenting got easier.

    God bestows gifts unequally upon His children. Yes, we are all given grace equally, but our talents and strengths differ. And so it is with our children. They possess varying talents and personalities, but we bestow love upon them equally. Let them develop their uniqueness by using each other as sandpaper. They'll smooth out each other's rough edges and be stronger for it.

    And one last thought: Do you remember the night when Jesus led his disciples through the vineyard? He picked up a vine and said, "I am the vine and you are the branches. Those branches that do not bear fruit will be cast away. Those who do bear fruit will BE PRUNED so that their fruit will be plentiful." (I paraphrased that.) The best way to get a grape vine to bear more fruit is to cut it back and get rid of the sections that suck up its energy so it can instead expend that energy in creating fruit. Maybe you're being pruned? Try the book "Secrets of the Vine" by Bruce Wilkinson. It changed my perspective.

    Love you, girl.