Friday, May 3, 2013

~Hi ho, hi ho ... it's raising children we go ...~

"The days are long, but the years are short"
While corralling a screaming toddler and crying baby through Walmart, this was the last phrase I ever  wanted to hear.  
Now a mother to a teen and tween,  and would take a screaming toddler any day. ha! :)
Snacks and timely distractions quiet toddlers, but there's not many "helps" out there for knowing how to quiet (calm) teens.
I'm slowly reading through a book (presently at chapter 7), titled Age of Opportunity, that acknowledges the teen years are difficult when it brings out the worst in the parent. That is the "norm" within our human nature; we're all in desperate need of God.
I become exhausted reminding my son to iron his pants and shirt for his choir performance, prepare his lunch without leaving a mess in the kitchen, and PLEASE use a Kleenex when he blows his nose!!!!
No, he may not eat snacks right before dinner! Are those clothes on his bed clean or dirty??
Actually, the exhausting part is when I'm challenged on any of the above.
  Since when have our house rules changed?
I'm discovering that I'm not to engage in any useless arguments (wasted energy on outward behavior), but need to intentionally look for "moments of opportunity"- yes, even that "battle of the Will".  It's imperative to disciple my teen's heart and point him to Christ.
I'm to focus on the heart issues ... the issues that really matter (hopefully the rest will follow).
  I fall on my knees before God, seeking wisdom and strength needed to parent, and then trust that He's the One who convicts my teens heart.
I must "let go" of the belief that I must control everything.
Yes, there are still house rules ... and there's straight-forward consequences for not following them.
There's simply no need for me to nag or complain. Ever.
My mentor, who is reading this book along with me, has shared how her teens come to her seeking advice on personal teen-ish issues. On their own initiative!
"Take the time to be a good listener", she says, "and you may be surprised at the response".
Yes, I have been nicely surprised only 2 months into this (though I admit I often lapse back to "auto-pilot").
I'm thankful it's never "too late" to develop listening skills~   :)
Trusting God and being a good listener spells time & effort, and will always be a struggle for me.

I find myself thinking these "mom seasons" last forever .... they appear endless.
I need a thankful heart to enjoy the present.
" [These] days are long, but the years are short".

One of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp, recently wrote about having a thankful heart midst the seasonal changes in motherhood.

After drying your eyes .... be encouraged!  ;)
~Choose to be thankful in the midst~

No comments: