This isn’t a Mother’s Day post to let you know I have motherhood figured out. I don’t.
But I do want to tell you – I understand. Sometimes Mother’s Day is a blessing. Sometimes it’s a disappointment. Some days you feel valued and appreciated. Others you feel forgotten and criticized.
I want to say to you – God chose you for your child and He will give you everything you need. He sees you – always, and He loves you – always. God is not keeping score of your failures and successes. And
God has not charged you with the responsibility of raising perfect children.
Quite the opposite, God’s Word says children are a blessing from the Lord! So in an effort to experience and enjoy these blessings more, I want to share with you some things I’ve learned in the last decade of parenting. These three things have changed the ins and outs of our days and I pray they bring you joy, too:
- Be specific. I’ve learned that sometimes what I expect from my kids requires more details. Frustrations can be squelched when I’m intentionally specific. So instead of saying, “Go to bed.” I say, “Put your head on your pillow. Eyes shut. Mouths shut.” Instead of saying, “Sit down and eat.” I say, “Bottom on the seat. Feet in front. Fork in hand. Food in mouth.” My kids, from oldest to youngest, can recite these sayings now. Sometimes details can help us set our kids up for obedience and blessing.
- Lower your voice when you want to raise it. There are times when we all feel pushed to our limits. We need a plan on the front end, when we’re in the middle of the rope not at the end of it, for what we’ll do when our minds, bodies and hearts can’t take any more. If we make a decision to lower our voices when we feel like raising them, it saves us the heartache of heated words. I try to force myself to the softest whisper when I’d rather scream. It forces me to draw near to my child instead of creating distance between us; and my child learns to listen carefully.
- Make eye contact. In the busy lives we lead, I find it easy to fall into a pattern of hearing my children but not listening to them. I want my kids to feel like they are important and their words matter to me. In order to do that, they need my eyes. I ask them to look at me when I talk, so I want to treat them the same way.
By making eye contact with them when they talk to me, I validate their concerns or excitement or story. And when I’m in the middle of something and can’t give them my eyes, I try to pause, make eye contact and say, “Give me one second. I can’t wait to hear what you want to tell me.”
We won’t get it right every time, but God invites us to turn to Him and allow Him to work in us and through us.
“If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.” (James 1:5, VOICE)
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV)
Happy Mother’s Day!
Copyright © 2021 by Katy McCown @
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