Thursday, July 5, 2012

Loving Your Kids

I am reading a book called Loving The Little Ones and I wanted to share a little bit. The author is a mother of five ages five and under. Because she is still in the moment and not recalling, so much of what she says hits home. Each chapter feels like it is made for me. One of the things that spoke to me is her thoughts on organizing. She says, " It is easy to fall into this kind of lifestyle (talking about oganizing) because cleaning and sorting makes you look and even feel like you have your act together, even if you really don't. What you are doing is finding a way to contain your children, control them, and keep them from making you look bad. But you are not actually dealing with anything. Christian childbearing is a pastoral pusuit, not an organizational challenge. The more children you have the more you need to be pastoral minded, looking to their souls and needs." 
 Ouch! This one me hard. She goes into more detail, but the more kids you have the more chaotic it feels. I'm not a big change person so I am doing exactly what she says. I am running around trying to make things feel"normal." I think in my mind I think if I am just more organized here, X will go more smoothly. That does work sometimes but when it doesn't it leads to frustration with my kids. Over and over God has been working on my heart, reminding me to relax. There are so many ways that I have been holding on and never realized.
 Another example that rang true was her example of her relationship with God. When she was single she did her devotions every day. Her walk with God was like a rock being refined by the river. With kids it becomes like being in a rock tumbler. Now its not so easy to be Godly because the days are spent crashing into each other. There is less time for reflection and more on the job training and failure. True! Its so easy to read about how you should act, but putting that into practice in the midst of chaos is another level.
 Another example that I really get is when she says we are responsible to see our kids as individuals. Sounds easy, but it's not. An example that I understand all to well is when you are cooking. When you have one child and they want to help you are enthusiastic. When you get a whole bunch of kids all wanting to help it becomes overwhelming and in my experience so much more work. It's so easy to say no because it would be faster to do it yourself. That is when you need to see them as individuals and not mass. She says, " Most of the time kids do not know they are overwhelming. That's because they never forget they are individuals."
 I have to remind myself how different this picture will look in a mere ten years. In the moment sometimes it is hard to see that. Dishes  and sticky floors aren't for the rest of my life. They are for a season. God is working on me, teaching me to let go and let him run the ship. I am so busy trying to be the pilot. I think I am beginning to realize where my daughter got her stubborness.

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