In my heart I know that I do not need to look to my left and right to compare what others have, are doing, or look like to see how I am doing. But in some ways this continues to be a challenge.
I am constantly trying to reevaluate how things run in our home, to ensure they are the best that they can be at this phase of our lives. At times I am aware that some things will not be as smooth as during other times. A great example is meal planning - with 4 kids ages 5 and under it was a lot harder to plan meals and get a routine down. I had at least 2 or 3 kids per evening vying for my attention. Today, they are usually off somewhere playing while I prepare supper, and planning happens pretty regularly now a days.
These days I have been looking at how I devote minutes to each child in our home. I have asked friends in the past how they deal with this - friends with more than 2 kids usually. I have heard how others do it - again larger families. But until recently I have struggled with how it should look in our family. In other families I hear of a mom who lays down each night with each child and reflects on their day. When children share rooms, I am not sure that sharing intimate thoughts will happen as easily in our home, and honestly the bedtime moments are not the best for me. I am usually tired and ready for some time to think, blog, read, or watch tv - without kids. So that never seemed to work for us.
So then one family I asked said they do not have any regular times - it just happens when it needs to.
I am an intentional person though, so it just happens, well, that does not really work for my mind that needs a plan.
So about a year or so ago, I read about giving each child a day of the week for something - not sure what it was, but I figured out I could apply it my way to our family. So I came up with the plan that Monday was my eldest's day, Tuesday - next born, Wednesday next, and Thursday my youngest. Friday was family night anyway so that was open. And weekends were just a free-for-all.
Lately though, I am tweaking this plan. After a stressful moment at the zoo recently, I asked my friend how someone was supposed to parent one of my specific children. She asked me if I have been praying for him. At first, I felt like that was a cop-out answer. I mean really, of course I pray for said child. But then God connected some random dots in my head.
First, Manna's pastor Micheal preaching about praying with power and authority. Am I praying over E with power and authority? Praying truths and promises from scripture over him and with him? Do I stop during tough times and pray with him, for him? No, no and no. I do not.
Second, scripture :
Third, working prayer and time of talking with each child into our week.
All this led to redefining my children's assigned days. Their day now is their day to serve our family. They empty the dishwasher that day, they are responsible for setting the table and helping prep dinner. The morning of their day, I pray with them, out loud, with them. I pray for them, that they will follow God, listen to him, and for their decision making. My youngest son has lit up during these moments - it has been so sweet. So now, they live for their day of the week. Robert and I have also added praying over our children each night to bedtime routine. After they say their sweet prayers we pray over them, again truths, and promises that God gives us in his word, we pray for their future and that they would grow to love God's word and follow after him.
This has changed our family. It is a slow change, but I am seeing it in my oldest most of all, a tender heart, more tender than usual. A heart to serve and a desire to help.
None of this is new stuff. I have heard about praying for our kids for years, but really how to pray for them. More than just God protect their future spouse..... but really, praying his word over them, and with them. That has been powerful for me. It has given me a greater peace with them, more patience, and most of all reminded me of the power of our words and our prayers!!
I am so grateful for my friends who constantly remind me where truth is and where to go when I do not know where to go.