I have no problem running an organized, fun learning environment at my congregation's preschool. Spend a day with me at home and it's a whole different story! Why is it I feel so out of control at home? Why do I expect my children' to behave just like that "one family" at church that seems to have it all together? Is it because I work outside the home? Or is it because I should home school my children? (That would require me to work at home!)
Reading through the first section of Am I Messing Up My Kids?on Sunday morning after church, I had an A-HA! moment! Lysa (the wonderful author of the book) struggles just like I do to keep my mouth and stress level under control! I am not a failure! I am just like every other mother in the world!
Instead of turning to my friends, Google, Facebook, self-help books to help me become a better mother, all I need to do is turn to God! Well, duh! That seems so logical when I read it, but I couldn't come up with that myself! I must start my day with God and then return to God throughout the day when I feel things going out of control and a sarcastic thought forming in my mind - bring out the muzzle please!
"I have discovered that if I can change the way I think about something, I can change the way I react to it. If I change the way I react, I can change the way I define myself as a mother." (pg. 11, Am I Messing Up My Kids?) I don't expect this to happen overnight! It's a good thing I worship a loving God who is patient, gracious and full of forgiveness because I know I'm still going to make mistakes and it's going to take a lot of time to get used to this new way of mothering.
I don't know if this will help my daughter's pre-teen attitude or the explosive way my son responds when things don't go his way, but if I can learn to keep calm, turn to God and remember key Scriptures, it will help me and improve the way I react to them and situations that happen.
I'm sure we all have days or weeks where we feel we could earn the Worst Mother of the Year Award, but by keeping God first, keeping my tongue quiet and doing the best I can maybe my kids will turn out alright after all! With that being said, I'm off to tackle the adventure of putting my kids to bed without World War III breaking out.
Dear Abba Father, give me patience beyond all measure and temper my words with gentleness and kindness. Amen.
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. ~ Proverbs 25:11
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
~ Psalm 73:26