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Demonstration Challenge

Motherhood…it is one of, if not, the hardest responsibility I have. And it is not necessarily the day-to-day tasks of motherhood that are the hardest for me, but living in the grace of motherhood. The past month, I have had some challenging moments as a mom especially with my four year old. The attitude that has been spewing out of his mouth at different moments of the day can make me want to scream…and I might actually take a moment to do that. This week I had a moment of being done (Yes, it was just a moment, but it was a long one.)

Toys were flying and the kids were screaming. In that moment, I stood up and monster mom appeared. I can still see the little faces looking up at me with big eyes as they stopped in silence. Let’s just say I lost it. Both boys were sent to their rooms and I was getting on to them and at the same time talking to myself out loud. “Get in your room. I cannot do this anymore. What is wrong with you guys? I don’t know what else to do.” As I walked into my room deflated, my heart was gripped. That is when I heard that still peaceful voice say, “Jennifer, you cannot ask them to demonstrate something they are not seeing.” Ouch. It was a painful correction, but beautiful correction. I called the boys into the room and we sat on the floor, held hands and prayed, not only for their obedience and self control, but for mommy’s as well. I had to humble myself and ask for forgiveness as I had been in the same attitude they were in.

When I went to bed that night, I opened up my Bible and found several scriptures to pray as my desire is to bear self control, not just for my children’s sake, but for mine and ultimately for God. The key scripture I am praying is Proverbs 16:32 “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self control than conquer a city.” Then I discovered a recent podcast by Priscilla Shirer’s Going Beyond Ministries blog. It was regarding parenting and it hit the bulls eye for me. She gives a resolution for mother’s that I want to share and encourage all moms to listen to the podcast as it explains the below resolution.

Resolution: I will DEMONSTRATE to my children how to love God with all their hearts, minds, and strength, and will train them to respect authority and live responsibly.

As if that was not enough, I woke up the next morning to read John 13 where Jesus demonstrates to his disciples true servanthood and humility by washing the disciples feet. He tells them in verse 15, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” I definitely think God is trying to teach me something. Hahaha.

I will demonstrate. This is my challenge…to demonstrate. I know I am not perfect and that there will be days where I fail, but I have made a resolution in my heart that I will demonstrate to my children God’s love, patience, gentleness, kindness, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness and self control both in my actions and words. I pray that as this has challenged me in so many ways that it also challenges you. It challenges you as a mom, parent, or friend to be a demonstrator and be assured that God will give you the grace to do the demonstrating…everything rest in His grace.

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Right before Liam turned four, he became a  little mouse. He would sneak in our room and sleep on our floor. It had come to a point that every night we left a blanket and pillow on the ground as we knew he would arrive sooner or later. When we moved to Dallas, his desire to stay in our room increased. Jason and I knew that this behavior had to end, but we had just transitioned from all he knew (Baton Rouge) and didn’t want to force him to sleep alone in a new room. (I know; we should not have given in, but sometimes giving in happens.) However, about two months ago, we both agreed the behavior needed to end; not just for our sake, but for his as well. We tried all we knew to keep him from coming into our room. We even tried returning him to his room if we found him on our floor. Nothing was working, until one day, while on Pinterest I saw a “Stay In My Bed” card. Pretty clever idea…a simple card that Liam could punch a hole into if he stayed in his bed all night. He could choose the reward for completing an entire card and voila. Well the next day, we put this simple card to the test. And it was miraculous! Something as simple as a card, I printed out at home, changed over a year of coming into our room. He still wakes up so excited that he slept through the night in his own room. He even has gotten to the point where he stays in his room until we come out of ours. Thank you Pinterest for this simple idea that revolutionized our home.

Stay In Bed Card

Out of this, I have realized that working through something with your child, does not have to be so complex. Sometimes your child needs just a little something to “punch”.

Do you have a reward system you have used that is simple, but works? If so, please share as we parents need all the help we can get. Cheers to this parenting adventure.


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Parenting Strength

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Words you hear from others as you parent…Are they in the terrible twos? Just wait until they turn three? You think it is hard now; they haven’t even hit the teenage years? This is all so encouraging as your child gets older. So comforting to know that every year it gets harder as your child develops and grows in independence. LOL. I say this sarcastically, but I know there is some truth in those statements and the statements themselves wear me out. For the past few weeks, I have felt pretty weary as a parent. I read about parenting almost everyday, try new discipline techniques, and sit with kids and talk about the real issue, their heart. I go to God asking Him for wisdom as a parent. I exasperated all efforts. I came to a place the other day where I exclaimed, “I have tried everything. There is nothing else I can do, read or pray. It is all up to God now.” As I spoke these words out loud, a light bulb went off. It was an “ah-ha” moment. “Only God can do it. That’s it!” I was so weary because “I” was parenting. Strength is not something I can muster up. God is strength. I cannot ever parent from a restful state until God parents through me. This has to come before any book read or parenting plan implemented.

 “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (NIV)

Jennifer Laird is not competent as a mother. But because of Christ and through Him, He has called me competent. I am not capable to parent. But because of Christ, He will make me capable. I recently read, “When we rely on God in everything we do, including raising our children, we can be confident He will equip us for this calling of motherhood.” Therefore, I approach the adventure of motherhood with full confidence in the God who called me to it, remembering that He does not call the equipped, but equips the called. Parenting strength is none I have, but all God is and supplies.

I pray that you can find rest in His strength as you parent. Rest in knowing that God does not just supply strength, He is strength. He is your parenting strength.