31 days of training my kids: always a tradeoff

Which one is the culprit?
Which one is the culprit?

I walked down the hallway after the many-eth time of putting a little girl back in bed. I saw things that needed to be put away, jobs I thought surely would have been done by now.

Why haven’t I gotten to that… I began to think; and then I realized… this is what I’ve been doing!

All week.

And suddenly, I didn’t seem to mind the mess as much.

One of my little sweeties has just given me a run for my money this week. The piles and laundry and cluttered counters that I meant to take care of mean that I actually concentrated on a bigger problem that was happening.

Thankfully, I can also remember when this happened with another one of our little darlings, and guess what? We got through it! The house even returned to normal. How comforting!

There’s always a tradeoff when something like this comes up.  I’m choosing to believe that something more permanent than the status of my house is being accomplished.

(and if nothing else, someone is now sweetly sleeping) = )

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I’m giving away Fit to Burst, by Rachel Jankovic. Check it out here!

31 days of training my kids: Fit to Burst giveaway

Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic
Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovic

I’ve already mentioned in this series that one of my favorite blogs is Femina Girls, and that one of my favorite books is Loving the Little Years.

Well, they’ve been featuring all these giveaways over at their blog for the new book by Rachel Jankovic, Fit to Burst… but, I haven’t won.

So I just decided to buy the crazy thing! And I’m so glad I did!

It just came yesterday; I’m only through the third chapter. All that to say, I can’t give you an official review, but I can tell you that it is fantastic!

She describes her book as a “collection of ‘field notes’ from a mom seeking to honor the Lord in her daily life. “I write about what I know, and what I know is the challenges, the joys, and the work involved in raising little people.”

I’ll try to pick favorite takeaways from the chapters so far.

“The Paradox Perspective”

Most of us grew up in a culture that despises this kind of thinking {a life of Christ-like sacrifice} and it may not come naturally to us. But we need to have the language of Scripture define our way of thinking, and not truisms from the world. 

Have you taken on the form of a servant? … This is how we imitate Christ: We esteem others greater than ourselves, and that turns into action. You will be humbled. You will have opportunities to humble yourself further. Choose to do so gladly, not resentfully. 

“The Unbaked Biscuit”

{on mommy guilt} I thought of biscuits. I would like to be a person who makes biscuits for my hungry children. I do not feel like making biscuits right now. I will make biscuits another time. I will have time when I am not tired and feeling fat. The kids won’t know. I wish I had made biscuits. I could have made biscuits. I’m such a bad mom who doesn’t make biscuits. I am not as good as all the moms who are everywhere in this stupid world making biscuits. People who talk about making biscuits are self-righteous. I hate biscuits. They make me feel guilty. Jesus loves me! Biscuits or not! Jesus doesn’t care that I didn’t make biscuits! Home free! Biscuit-free! 

{what she writes after that is even better}

Fruit is intimately connected with forgiveness. When we are forgiven, we do not gallop out into a life of ambiguity and indifference. We do not become great negotiators of whether or not it matters that we aren’t doing things. We become filled with gratitude, love, joy, and peace. And then, having a firm foundation of another’s righteousness, we are free to go out and do. Jesus does not care even the tiniest bit what you do for your salvation, because there is nothing you can do for it. But he cares very much what you do with it. 

“The Mean Boss”

…I was telling him about my expectations. And apparently my expectations were not aware of what my life is actually like. … My expectations were a seriously mean boss.

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The book is short and the chapters even shorter. I’m pretty sure every one could be read in ten minutes or less. (however, when I read Loving the Little Years, I liked to read a chapter and then think about it for a few days before moving on

Want some super fun, favorite Friday news? I ordered two books!! Yes, look back at the picture (by the way, if you follow on facebook you would know why the books were in a pile of *clean* laundry). = )

Want to win Fit to Burst? Here’s how.

Leave a comment here.

Leave a comment on facebook.

Share the giveaway on facebook.

Follow the blog on facebook.

Follow the blog by email here.

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There, that looks like some sad kind of modern poetry. But I’ve seen one too many rafflecopters lately, and this is my boycott! = )

I will count every entry, so if you use more than one method you will have more chances to win. If you comment here or on facebook, let me know if you shared, liked, pinned or other such qualifying nonsense.

The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on October 31, and the winner will be announced soon after!

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And now, I have to go… so I can keep reading!

and may you be more fortunate in your giveaway endeavors than I have been in mine = )

31 days of training my kids: laughter

for the families 013My husband is a master at making our girls laugh! I love watching them together.

Something that happened on our trip last week reminded of how important it is for laughter to be part of the training/disciplining/parenting equation.

The girls were really good; but Mckayla went through a few times where she was rather indignant and whiny about what she wanted. At one point, Paul turned around to sternly correct her. She got the picture and everything settled down. A few seconds later, I heard her giggle. I looked at Paul and realized that he was making silly faces at her. She laughed and he laughed and after a couple minutes it was done.

But it stuck in my mind. I have to remember to do that more. 

31 days of training my kids: let’s get specific

imageAll right, enough hullabaloo. We’ve had two crazy busy weeks in a row, a trip to Pennsylvania and back, and another full week staring us in the face.

I can’t just float on and expect productive teaching and training to happen around here.

Life probably won’t slow down any time soon.

Here is what we will be working on this week.

*Putting stuff away. We’ve worked on it before, but it’s definitely time for a refresher -probably for mom and kids.

*Looking at someone in the eye when they talk to you.

and two more constants…

*Obeying with a good attitude

*Being happy and thankful in all circumstances (this is especially with the older ones -and me!)

We already had a great opportunity to work on that last one at breakfast this morning. Who knew being given a smaller piece of banana than someone else could be so heartbreaking?

What are you working on this week?

31 days of training my kids: don’t despair

imageIt’s taken two days to write this silly thing. And it’s not even that profound or deep or anything. Here’s how it started out, two days ago: 

Today did not start out super great. I woke up late -happens more than I’d like to admit. We finished breakfast at…

I don’t even want to say.

Then to clean up at least a little, get all the girls settled playing, make sure the homeschool space is ready… start school, take care of Mckayla who just easily hopped over the baby gate…

All the while my mind is eating at me, “If you had… you can’t even… even when you… it’s still…”

Mornings like that are no fun.

I’ve learned from experience that the worst thing to do is despair. Sometimes it feels like you can’t walk away from that voice in your head.

*Digression: it is my personal opinion that at this point the worse thing you can do is follow the popular advice of the day, “Remind yourself that you’re a great mom! Think of ten things right now that you’re awesome at! It’s so shallow. We know deep inside how messed up we are.*

Even when I know that I’m behind and in less-than-desirable circumstances, I can’t go back and change anything. In the moment, I have to do what’s right. Keep fixing breakfast. And be joyful and thankful.

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Seriously, the last few days have felt like 600,000 inner battles one right after another. Then go to bed, then do it again.

Not giving in to despair or discouragement or feeling defeated is a victory. Just because the temptation is there to wallow in all those emotions doesn’t mean we don’t have a choice.

The moment, minute, and hour at hand have not been messed up yet.

Ever felt like this?

Task. Frustration. Discouragement. Repentance. Hope. Task. Thanks. Rejoicing. Repeat. 

Every ninety seconds.

Not fun, but good.

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I have to say that yesterday was even harder than the day before with crazy things coming out of all sorts of places. If you’re having a day like that, don’t give in. Don’t despair. 

…hope thou in God:  for I shall yet praise him,…

31 days of training my kids: even when you’re not

imageAfter a lovely and profitable weekend away, and after a long, good Monday… this is about all I have to say.

I’ve really been thinking for the past two days how you’re always training your kids… even when you’re not. They pick up your attitudes and actions; they learn in what situations we will and won’t discipline them… they’re always learning.

Especially impressive to me has been the thought that they are impacted even by the things I do when they’re not around. How I choose to spend my free time, how I think about people who come and go in my life, how I devote myself to Christ… these are all things that directly impact who I am when I’m around my girls. I can’t even perceive the influence, but I know it’s there.

Perhaps this is not very clear since it’s late and I’m writing off-the-cuff.

If my girls learn more from my example, than from what I actually teach them, I want to make sure there is equal effort going into training them and into being a consistent person, even when they’re not there.

May my desires become less and may passion for Christ become more.