Sunday, June 27, 2010

They Didn't Notice!


I got my haircut a few days ago and my kids haven't noticed yet. Some people might be offended by that but I am thrilled. Absolutely thrilled. They are no longer constantly monitoring for a change in me. They are free to explore, learn and grow without watching carefully for even the tiniest of changes in my behavior or appearance. At first, I thought it was really cute when they would comment on whether I wore shorts or a dress, my hair was curly or straightened or whether I wore close-toed shoes or flip flops. Then I realized that in their short few years of life, they had had to protect themselves from rapidly shifting moods and drastic changes in behavior. They had learned to watch for subtle cues in order to be safe. Over Christmas time, I got my nails done (clearly a rare occurence)and it literally threw M into a tailspin. He got really agitated and kept saying, "I don't want you to get your nails done". It took exactly 18 months but today, we are celebrating their new found ability to NOT notice!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Grace



"Many times, when I was having a hard time with one of my children. God would always remind me that He was having a harder time with me than I was with them."
--Charlie "Tremendous" Jones

Tonight, as I was tucking M into bed he made the observation that the wind had calmed down outside. I agreed, kissed him on the forehead and started to walk out of the room. He continued, "maybe the mama wind told him to take a deep breath".

My boy is listening. He is attaching, incorporating my words and actions into his thoughts. It is beyond beautiful. We've had a rough couple of days. Lots of testing and backtalk from him and second guessing on my part. Am I too strict or too lenient? Do I make mountains out of molehills or do I let important things slide? Looking back, I can see that it's completely age appropriate and very circumstantially understandable but in that moment...not so much. I needed to hear his simple observation today. I needed to be encouraged that we are on the right track. God knew that and he used my sweet boy and the wind gusts to show me.

I wrote up this post once and it was accidentally deleted as I tried to post the quote above into it. As I wrote it out for the second time I realized that I do the same thing to God on a daily basis. He tells me things, I don't listen; I pretend I understand his commands without really taking time out to think and pray about what that means for my life. God is so gracious with me as I try, forget, stumble and try again. I want to use that thought to motivate myself to fill my parenting with grace. Instead of responding to my kids with frustration, irritation and impatience, let me turn toward them with a smile, soft eyes and encouragement. I want my home to be filled with grace. There will be mistakes, there will be regrets but I want my kids to know that no matter what, my love for them is secure, they have significance in this world and they can persevere in times of trouble.