I understood when I had 4 kids ages 5 and under, why I was exhausted and clueless. I mean really, lack of sleep, feeling like a dairy cow for about 4 or so years, life was expectedly crazy!
And now, I have a house full of (mostly) elementary school kids – one pre-teen. I did not expect it to still require so much of me. So often I feel like I have no idea what to do next. Whew.
While I love to be deep in a great book, parenting books are not my favorite genre. I prefer some great Christian Fiction above most others. However, in this season of parenting I am turning back to some great books that I hope to gleam some great wisdom from. So, these days you can find me reading and taking copious notes from Shepherding a Child’s Heart and Grace Based Parenting.
I have read both of these books before, but never side by side.
I am so enjoying how both of these have a very similar main point – and offer a few different ways to approach it. So Kristen and I are sharing our thoughts on both books, and Kasey and I are meeting up and discussing Grace Based Parenting, but I think we may add Shepherding to our discussions as well. It is great to be able to talk about what really spoke to us from each book, and when you know you need to talk about it, you kind of read with a bit more focus. I even took notes!!
So here is what I have learned so far :
Pharisee : I realized between these great books and the Whole Heart Conference, I am a wonderful Pharisee! Oh my. I never knew before about 10 days ago. I love to have rules, follow them, and judge others for not following. Ugh!! So I am working on that. Working on letting it all go and grabbing some Grace, for me and everyone else! Beth Moore said she is a Grace Addict – and I so want to be one too!! I think in this case, wanting to follow is a good thing!!
Respond : Next, I want to respond to my kids and not react – I want to stop what I am doing and value their questions, comments, and time. I think, if I do a better job at this, I may just create a home where they want to be – just be. A place they feel loved and accepted, and they will want to be here with us, just doing life together. (not forever mind you, I mean, I want them to grow up and want to leave eventually, but I want them to want to come back too… I am sure you get the idea)
Advocate : I want to stop being an adversary – and start to advocate for my children. I want to praise them all day long, not fluff – not empty “you are a great” – but remind them the truth – God has a plan – they are created in His image, they will fail and will be forgiven, but keep trying. I want them to know I am their #1 fan in all they do. I do not think this means to lower my expectations – but to offer grace and encouragement instead of guilt or disappointment.
Needs : Bottom line, our children need 3 things
Security = Love
Significance = Purpose
Strength = Hope
That is a quick summary of my main points from the first chapter of both books. I am so enjoying them and the discussions with friends! I hope to be a bit of a better mom too, extending more grace when I get impatient and frustrated.
Have I told you how great my kids are? They make me so proud with their huge hearts for each other and others!