Friday, June 5, 2009

TidBits on Children.

It's ten til ten in the am here in central Illinois. Friday is always a refreshing day in my world. I'm not sure why since Daniel works Saturdays and it never quite feels like we get a "weekend." I have become accustomed to that and it actually feels rather normal now. I babysit Abby and Alaina for a couple of hours on Fridays which is nice. The kids are all finally to the point where they play well and it's less work for me. I can actually enjoy them as they play and interact. Alaina is one. Braden will be two. Nora will be three. Abby is four. These couple of hours always give me a great reality check of what our lives could have been like (and could still be like) had we have chosen to continue having children so close in age. It's a beautiful site to see them all playing and enjoying the innocence of their lives. I so enjoy it.

I realize on days like today when many little children are all bustling around our overgrown yard just how important it is to maintain a life of holiness. Of course for myself and my own family but also for everyone whose lives are impacted by my choices and my mere presence. I have invested in the lives of these precious little girls and they are still such babies, being shaped and conformed by our actions and choices. I am pleased in knowing that someday they will better understand the Lord because of me, my life, this home, or even by a small gesture of love that I show them. They touch my heart.

I am still reading "The Strong Willed Child," and am enjoying it. Daniel has been listening as I read and even admitted last night that his thinking about parenting children with such strong personalities has changed. He understands (finally) that we must take a different approach on thinking, disciplining, rewarding and parenting in general when it comes to our little ones compared to those children who are mild mannered and less defiant. Parents with children who are not strong willed may never understand the day to day struggle we encounter. I refuse to think that by admitting our children have strong personalities that I am somehow deeming it to be so. I am not claiming this character trait over my children. In fact, I spent many days and nights (and still do) praying that their personalities would be shaped by Godly character. In turn, I believe that they are! These children are made in the image of Christ and so, as their mother, partnering with their father, I am determined to take their "selves" and shape them according to what is already instilled within them.

I also want to clarify that I am neither condoning the actions of SW babies (strong willed) or making excuses so that I can exercise in the lack of discipline. Quite the contrary! My goal in raising these kids is to follow the instructions of the Father. Proverbs 12:1 says, "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid." This is true not only of our children (many of whom are too young to comprehend such biblical truths but can still benefit from the instruction of such), but it is also true of us as Christians. The Lord wants to mold, shape and even discipline us as well. It is wise to listen and receive! Proverbs - Chapter 19:18 says:
"Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death."
Discipline is a struggle to every loving parent. God loves us and wants us to have direction and wisdom concerning this subject. He didnt leave us alone and without guidance. Seek His counsel if you are struggling in this area. Obviously talking about discipline with other mothers and parents is a touchy subject. Just like homeschooling, vaccinating, diapering, etc; we all have different opinions and make different choices. None of which are wrong, just different. Bear in mind, however, that God longs to be involved in your choices no matter which ones you make. Involve Him today!

Children like Nora respond differently to the type of discipline that many 3 year olds may handle "correctly." Babies like Braden are typically not going to interact with other toddlers like some mothers would expect or even tolerate. We are praying, researching and seeking God's wisdom when it comes to nurturing and raising up these strong willed children. I know many that would argue that I am rather strong willed myself. ... even so, I tend to think I turned out just fine:)

Anyway, today I am meditating on the Beautiful One I love and enjoying this day with the children whose lives are blameless thus far. They are so sweet and gentle and I am blessed to be called their mother. Even in the midst of poop on the carpet or smiley faces on our futon. Life is good. So So sweet. Thank you Lord for your gentle spirit that is round about us today and everyday. We love you.

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