June 11, 2012

What Does a Mom Do When the Going Gets Rough?

Maybe you can tell by the title how my week has started! :)  Last night, I left church and scared myself when I looked into the mirror in the car!  I told the Mr., "Wow, I look like a worn-out, frazzled mom tonight!"  I also felt like one!  I do believe that parenting goes through cycles of angelic behavior followed by even longer cycles of heathenish, who-do-you-think-you-are behavior!  We are, and have been for quite some time, in the latter!  I told my Mom and Dad on their last day here that I thought my children had probably used up all their goodness!  I didn't realize how prophetical that statement was! :)

This morning, we continued with the struggle of wills, and I just finally had to take a break and walk away for a few!  While I was walking away, I began asking God, "WHY????  Why is it that the harder we try to do what is right and to teach our children to love You with their whole heart...why is it then that so many silly battles begin? Why is the more we teach, the more we find that needs to be taught?  Will it never end?  Could we please just wake up one time, and everyone be happy and Christ-like?"  

So...what do you do when parenting seems hopeless?  You can't take a vacation...because they go with you.  You can't quit because you can't just walk away from your children.  Many times, you can't even take a day off, and when you do, you still come back to everything the way it was but just add a messier house to the deal!  Well, I am still a fairly "young" parent, and so I do not claim to be an expert, but I have found some things that have helped me through these rough phases, and so I thought I'd remind myself of them as I share them with you! 

1. PRAY!!!  This has become my first weapon of choice!  Many times, we may feel like we are fighting a losing battle because we have not let God fight for us.  Pray for yourself - that God would give wisdom and patience - as you deal with each problem whether big or small!  Pray for your children - that God will soften their hearts and accomplish HIS work in them. 

2.  SLEEP!!!  This used to be my first weapon of choice! :)  I know that there are many times when I am just worn out and worn down, and it is best for all involved if I just take a nap.  If you have little ones, place them in their crib or play pen and let them entertain themselves (or cry for a little)!  For those with older children, I have been known to bribe and even turn on a movie in order to get that very necessary nap!

3.  RECOGNIZE SATAN'S LIES!!! Remember the above conversation I had with God this morning?  Most of it was Satan speaking to me!  Remember, we are in a very real war against Satan, and his number one enemy is a Christian family!  I need to fight the lies he feeds me with the truth!  So, this morning, I began to quote our family verse. "Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy, and at thy right hand are pleasures forevermore."  ~Psalm 16:11.  Our family really does have some wonderful days - lots of them, and as a homeschool, stay at home mom, I have had the privilege to disciple my children and watch them grow in Jesus and begin to make right choices for the right reasons.  I also recognized today how blessed I am that God graciously shows me things that my children need to be taught.  This is how they do become more Christ-like, and that is my heart's desire for my children!

4.  STICK TO THE RULES!!!  Be consistent!  Have a family pow-wow and remind everyone of God's expectations for your family.  Make sure you do not lecture on your expectations, but instead, lovingly through God's Word show them what God expects from family!  (So...I probably did not do this one exactly as written!  There was some lecturing in this house this AM...later followed by apologies). Remind them of the consequences of poor choices and wrong decisions, and then stick to them!

5.  HAVE SOME FUN!!!  This morning was high discipline in our home!  This afternoon was taking a walk with a snack and a book and some drawing materials.  We found a nice spot to lay out a blanket and read and color.  I made sure that I took the time to show them God's great love for them as well as my own.

I am sure there are more things that we can add to this list, and I'd love to hear your ideas.  These are the ones that I use time after time!  Yep!  If you offered me free babysitting and an all-expense paid trip to...well...anywhere!...I'd still take it!  But, since that probably isn't going to happen, I'll press on remembering that nothing good ever comes easy and that there is no sacrifice too great to make in exchange for children who truly want to love Jesus!  So, take heart, ye mothers (or as Miss M says, "Muvvers!")!  :)  With God's help, we can do this!  Nothing comes to us that has not first been sifted through His loving fingers, and God loves our children even more than we do!    

1 comment:

  1. So true, Christy! I know I only have one- and he's little- but I can still relate, at least in a small way! :) Thanks for the encouragement!