Monday, January 20, 2014

Oh sweet child

I've been reading a lot of WONDERFUL blog posts on how you just need to soak up the sweetness of your child coming into your bedroom 14 times in the night. And remember all these precious tiny moments. Please don't forget to lay in bed with them and stroke their sweet hair as they drift to dream land.


I'm a REALLY compassionate and patient person. It's true. Parenting with grace is difficult, yes. Yes, it is!!!

There are many many many things I agree with when reading these blog posts. For one, this time with small children is fleeting. These pitter patter feet that run down the hall at 2am are Only for a season. Sniff. 

They still like me and love me and think I'm the bees knees (you liked that old time saying, didn't you? Thought so.).

This season is probably pretty easy compared to what we are going to face as hormones rage and attitudes develop.

So, here's my thought about these mushy sweet blog posts...

wait for it...

wait for it...

Yes. I like them. A lot.

However, sometimes your child who continues to get up out of their bed 12313 times in 3 hours causing mass chaos in a sleepy home needs this:




Whatever happened to parents expecting obedience from their children? 

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”a  Ephesisans 6:1-3

I can tell you this: my kids will be turds. And they might even be a turd to you, yes, you...whoever is reading this now. Because they are human. And I know they can't be perfect. 

However, we have expectations that the Lord has set upon us & them. And it is THE PARENT'S job to instill these skills in to our offspring. 


It's on you, Momma. And Daddy. 

EXPECT obedience. Teach obedience. Live obedience in your own lives. 

Now, we are also commanded by the Lord not to provoke our children to anger. We shouldn't push their buttons or talk to them without self control (by golly, I am working on this!!! seriously. sometimes I just want to flick them in their ear & spin around like a freaking lunatic because NOBODY has matching socks. Nobody. Ever.)

But, I reel my freakish outburst in & instead remember this:

4Fathers,b do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

I've got to be a role model for my children's behavior. That's hard. Period. 

If I yell, they yell. 

If I give sarcastic body language, they give sarcastic body language. 

If I roll my eyes & give a full body sigh...they will do the same.

We teach our kids how to respond to us. Truth.

I've learned (the hard way) that my kids don't listen when I yell. They shut down. Tune me out.  But, when I raise my voice & grab their attention, then speak normally but sternly, they hear me. 

There is on occasion in our home some VERY firm words (not ugly, not rude, not inappropriate) that are said when our children are not obeying. I like to call that the 'reality check in the name of Jesus.'

Sometimes kids need a reality check.

And sometimes I need a reality check.

It seems like this whole parenting teeter totter is a scheme of checks & balances. 

Check in with the Lord & He balances out our insecurities & throws us right back on the correct path to effectively parenting our kids.

Listen, sweet cheeks, I am no perfect parent. Farther from it than the moon. I just know that i've tried lots of things & the ONLY sure thing that works is seeking the Lord to guide you as you parent.

My goal is to raise children that love the Lord & they see His truths in my life as an example of the Faith I'm teaching them. 

Why would they want to serve a God that is absent in my everyday life & only on my lips as words for their ears to hear? 

Don't just speak His words. Live them.

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:22-25

And pray. Pray for your kids (and yourself) daily. I pray for myself a lot, especially when I really want to jack their tail up in the name of Jesus when they give me lip or attitude (or flop themselves around on the floor of Kohl's because I'm trying to buy them new underwear to prevent the circulation from being cut off of important body parts?!?! Or for telling me you didn't have to pee before we got in the car to drive THREE hours & then 20 min down the road scream you're dying inside because you have to pee so badly!!). 

Don't get me wrong. I'll spank their tail if it needs it. But I'll also tell you in all honesty, I refuse to lay a hand on their bottom in anger.  (it defeats the purpose). 

We pray with our kids after they are punished. Why not?!? It teaches them to reach out to the Lord & ask for help & guidance.

I'll also tell you that during a prayer or two (or maybe 35) I've had to ask for forgiveness too for the way I've reacted. This teaches your child that you aren't perfect. 

Parenting is crazy. But it's such a blessing. It is a gift that has been given to us. It isn't something that we are entitled to. I try to remember that EVERY day. Especially when my little litter is running circles around my dragging feet...

If I wasn't chasing around these four blessings then I would be praying for one blessing to chase. Don't take for granted what you've been blessed with by the Lord. And don't take for granted the responsibility it entails as well.

So forgive me if I don't stroke my child's hair & whisper how sweet & lovely it is that they need me in the night. Granted, sometimes that's in order (I'm not completely heartless). 

But most nights, you'll get a stern reply from this sleepy mom in the middle of the night that goes a little something like this "I love you, go back to bed, we sleep at night, I'll see you when the sun comes up."

Expect obedience & pray you live your days for those little eyes to see Him shine through...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Dr. Junior

"Mom, why did Dr. Junior have a dream?"

I had already seen the paper in her take-home folder, so I knew exactly what she meant. Her class has been talking about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in school this week. She is a sharp cookie for her age, but this is a tough concept. I went on to ask her about the investigation her class had done with a brown egg and a white egg. The idea is that you talk about how on the outside, the shell is hard and protects the inside. The only difference is the color of the shell.

Then, you break the egg open and show that the insides are identical. One yolk, one albumin, nothing else. They're both the same. That prompts a discussion about how people are no different from each other on the inside.

(If you'd like to do this activity with your child or students, you can get a FREE printable here:

She could tell me verbatim what she had done, what her teacher had said, and recounted it with the usual enthusiasm of a child who has an amazingly gifted kindergarten teacher. (We love her dearly, if you can't tell.)

But she wasn't really getting it.

I went further. She is bright, so I felt that I could tell her more. I explained that a long time ago, people weren't always allowed to do the same things. Things like going to a certain school or going to a certain restaurant. Sometimes people with peach skin (as she calls it) didn't even want to be friends with people who had dark skin.

"They didn't?"

"No, they didn't. And sometimes they were very mean."

"That wasn't very nice of them." "Mom, why do people call our skin white instead of peach?"

My answer - "Probably because peach looks close to white."

 But this set off a momentary rage within me. I don't know this for sure, but I imagined for a second that somewhere back in time, someone decided that Caucasian skin should be called white because it would sound the most opposite of black that it possibly could.

When really, we're all just the yolk and the albumin on the inside.

Our conversation ended and I realized...She still didn't understand. Not really. 

Her teacher's lesson and our conversation will now be a part of her schema to help her answer the questions her teachers will ask in years to come. She'll be the one raising her hand. She always is. But really, she just does not get it.

And I am SO glad.

She will never know a world where she cannot hug her friends with dark skin. She will never know a world where it is not ok for the Hispanic boy in her class to teach her how to say Spanish words. She will never know a world where there are no dark skinned baby dolls.

This world is not perfect. It never will be. She will learn things later that will break her heart like they break mine. But for now, there is a little peach girl in North Carolina who will hug your neck and talk your ear off no matter the shade of your skin.


Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.