Saturday, July 17, 2010

Just Thinking

(these two wear me out, but they are so. much. fun.)

The past two weeks have been slightly insane.  (I keep thinking of Salinger who wrote that "every mother is slightly insane" and that sums up every parenting tidbit or piece of mothering advice I can think of at the moment).

So hardly anything has been accomplished around here lately, but these are some random things I've been thinking:

1.  Wow, my kids are strong-willed!  Along with not sleeping, both Sam and Annie, in completely different ways are revealing their "personalities" ahem and I am about beside myself to know what to do about it!  The hard part is being really confidant about what is the right way to handle things, and no matter what I feel like I didn't do it right . . . ugh, the guilt that comes with being a parent!

This is one thought from the book, Kids Are Worth It , that I love:
Strong-willed children are never easily led by anybody- not by you, but also not by their peers.  So celebrate your child's strength of will throughout the early years, and when the going gets tough for both of you, give that strong-willed child a hug and know that the independent thinking you are fostering will serve him well in the teen years.
Oh I hope so!

2.  The best friends are they who will see your child at her worst, and still love your child.
I am very aware lately of how much my friendships enrich my life, of my need for community, and especially of my need for "safe" friends, friends who I am confidant aren't judging me, who I can be honest with my failures and imperfections and who will be honest with me.  And as a mom, I need friends who love my kids and aren't judging them, either.

This week a friend was here with her children when one of mine displayed the full spectrum of her will in all it's glory.  It was one terrific fit, let me tell you, and as always I questioned after if I handled it correctly.  Thankfully, this is the kind of friend who I didn't have to be embarrassed with or feel judged by, one who I can talk openly with about all kinds of things, and who was still loving on my kids the rest of the day.

I think that in the midst of these messes my kids and I are both learning about repentance and forgiveness, what it is to feel sorry for your behavior and then to know you are forgiven, and how that plays out in our family or community.  I was so thankful for this friend who was able to demonstrate that kind of love to my child that day.

3.  I have linked to this blog before, but lately I have been going back through and reading the past years of Katie's journey . Oh for faith like this!
4. If the house is ever quiet, as I'm folding laundry or making supper I have been listening to this series of messages, What the Gospel Demands . So so challenging and good.
It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever. "In all the world there is none but thee, my God, there is none but thee." Keep paying the price. Let God see that you are willing to live up to the vision. -Oswald Chambers

6. I love Luke 6 as it is written in The Message.   Along with everything else, I haven't gotten much quality quiet time the past two weeks, but this passage has been on my mind . . . (here it is in part)

You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all. God’s kingdom is there for the finding.
You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry.  Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal.
You’re blessed when the tears flow freely.  Joy comes with the morning.
Count yourself blessed every time someone cuts you down or throws you out, every time someone smears or blackens your name to discredit me.  What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable.  You can be glad when that happens . . . and all heaven applauds.  
But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made.  What you have is all you’ll ever get.
And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself.  Your self will not satisfy you for long.
And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games.  There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.  
To you who are ready for the truth, I say this:  Love your enemies.  Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.  When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer for that person.  . . .. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.  No more tat-for-tat stuff.  Live generously.
Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!  If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back?  Run-of-the-mill sinners do that.  If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal?  Garden-variety sinners do that.  If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity?  The stingiest pawnbrokers does that.
I tell you, love your enemies.  Help and give without expecting a return.  You’ll never- I promise- regret it.  Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst.  Our Father is kind; you be kind.  
Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults- unless, of course, you want the same treatment.  Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang.  Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier.  Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back- given back with bonus and blessing.  Giving, not getting, is the way.  Generosity begets generosity.
It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.  Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt?  It’s this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part.  Wipe that ugly sneer off your face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
Why are you so polite with me, always saying Yes sir, and That’s right sir, but never doing a thing I tell you?  These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living.  They are foundation words, words to build a life on.


cratushoward said...

let your enemies bring out the best in you and take the initiative to do for others especially what you feel like your lacking in your life or desiring yourself, i've done this and it works, it is hard to do this consistently because human nature naturally wants to fill your own desires first
also love the mom stuff we all need friendships that are safe havens, how exhausted i would be if i always kept a wall up to protect myself and my family, i eventually have to take the risk and be myself and thank God that i too have been blessed with friends that embrace me for me, that see the good in my child and my parenting and that are willing to ride along the emotional roller coaster of life ready to be what i need at that moment and hopefully i for them

Fijufic said...

You have a lovely family.

Young Mom said...

I agree with your second point! Friends like that are so rare. I gave you an award in friday's post on my blog.