Tag Archives: Attitudes

almost locked in the dungeon

7 Jun

Thinking of my conversation with the nice plumber man a couple of days ago,  I still find myself hoping he will not delay too long.  Might he come today?  If not, I sure hope he comes tomorrow! When I brought him into the cellar to get a good look at the pipes, I was a bit ashamed!  Cleaning the basement was on my to do list, but still undone.  So, today was the day.  By the time I had finished hanging the laundry, the kids had the space completely emptied!

Overhearing the children’s conversations from the clothes line, it became evident that things were not running smoothly.  My little five year old princess was crying in search of someone who would sympathize with her.  Apparently she was under threat of being locked into the inner dark pit of the dungeon by a particular older (but still young) brother.

It didn’t take us much time to bring the  small space back to order.  Half of the things that had piled up over the last year just needed to be thrown out, the other – reorganized.     It was the landscape area right outside the door that really took some tough work.  As we began to prune back the abundant growth, we found evidence of a garden that had once been.  The vines had become so thick, nothing else was visible.  The voracious root system was dense throughout the soil, overpowering any other plants that may have thrived. It’s not that the vines are bad, in fact I love how abundant they are, but they sure are prone to take over everything they have access to.

While digging and pulling out roots from the vines, I thought about all of the things that creep in and can easily overtake our lives.  Many of the worst culprits can truly be good or look beautiful as do my vines, yet they become too strong and begin to strangle what is most important.

I thought about my little young man, so ready to exert his authority and be treated as one of the “older” kids.  At this point in his life, the authority is usually exercised on his younger siblings and not always in appropriate ways.  Gently, prayerfully, and deliberately my job (our job as parents) is to mold his growing independence – helping him to gain a wisdom that is from a pure heart; becoming considerate, submissive, full of mercy, productive, and sincere.  As he grows in these traits, he will be well on his way to becoming a well respected man wisely using his authority.

I am thankful to my husband for his desire for me to be a stay at home mom.  As a result, I have the pleasure of tackling projects with our kids –

from cleaning the dungeon to molding the character of the young knights and princesses – together we work to keep those overpowering roots at bay.

btw: Dear plumber man, the basement is clean; come back soon!

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My second podcast with Shara: Respecting Your Husband

26 May

Sitting here in the waiting room of the dentist office (with my new ipad in hand – of course), I have the luxury of reading, thinking, writing, and reflecting. Part of the process of deliberately encouraging others in marriage and family life is how it causes me to reflect on my own life.

How did I do this morning in sending off my hubby with kind words? Did I take time to encourage him? Did I focus on his strengths or pick apart his weaknesses? Did I take time to draw him close or drive a wedge between us?

A month ago I had the privilege of doing another podcast with my friend, Shara. The last interview was on the adventure of going from 5 – 14 children. This time, as you might guess, it was on marriage. The focus is on my journey of learning to treat my husband with respect and how that continues to affect the rest of our family. Shara has some great insights as she also endeavors to continue building on the strong foundation she and her husband have laid for a healthy marriage and family.

As a result of a few technical difficulties, like my Internet speed for one, the sound is a little soft. Be prepared to have a quiet place to listen.

Please take a moment to visit Notes at Naptime … with Shara and be encouraged!

http://blogging-mama.com/family/respecting-your-husband-podcast-with-becky/</

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gently molding habits

12 Jan

Yay!

The kids worked hard yesterday afternoon.  They conquered their bedrooms and each received a full 5 points!

Remember the original goal? To change a habit by gently molding, encouraging, and having fun.  This doesn’t mean that the work was necessarily fun for them, but the outcome was worth the work.

The hardest part is over, now their desire for points will help to drive

 the desire to maintain.  Throughout the process, the self discipline naturally grows!

the good, the bad, and the ugly

11 Jan

The target area I chose for my positive “molding experiment“, was the children’s bedrooms.  Yesterday I told you we had instant success, and that is true, but you would think I was crazy if you actually walked into their rooms.  The bedrooms were ten times worse than before we started!!!  I tried not to laugh as I looked for something to complement them on. They were so excited!

I had given them each 5 focus points on their chart.   So, each evening they have the potential of filling all 5 squares.  The challenge is for 21 days, but to keep them motivated, I broke it up into 7 day sections.  Whoever has the most points after the first 7 days gets to make a dessert of their choice.

1. Beds

2. Clothes

3. Toys

4. Closets

5. Bathrooms

I assumed they would try to conquer all 5 areas right away to receive 5 points.  Instead, they simply made their bed look great! Then… started emptying closets.  Today the little girls were so excited to show me their clean closet.  Beautiful! They had done a super job, but boy oh boy, the floor was a disaster! The boy’s room was very similar; they also were digging deeply. Unfortunately, I couldn’t give them a point for a job half done.  I made sure to notice the nicely made beds and let them know I was confident they would achieve a full closet point tomorrow after they put away all the things they pulled out of the closet! In a house with a bundle of kiddos, a bit of competition also comes into play.  Their enthusiasm is contagious and is motivating me as well!

Hats off to all of you that have picked up the challenge!

off to a great start!

10 Jan

Without mentioning anything to the children, I drew up the simple charts I referred to in yesterday’s post.  They walked in just as I was trimming off the extra paper.  Since they love crafty projects, they were immediately interested in whatever I might be doing.  I didn’t say much, just asked them for some fun paper stock to use as a back ground.  Within moments they were back with their favorite picks helping me tape the charts on the wall.

They weren’t sure what I was up to, but the excitement was building rapidly!  I hardly said a thing other than making sure the youngest could read  the few words on the chart.

Full of enthusiasm, they asked if they could start right away!

Day 1 : SUCCESS!

a contagious love for family

11 Oct

My daughter came home with an all too common description of an attitude about family life.  It wasn’t her view, rather it is one often heard at ones’ work place, waiting in the grocery line,  or talking with a friend.

“My kids are brats!”

“Unfortunately, I have to take care of my kid this weekend.”

“I can’t wait until they grow up and move out!”

Likely, if this is what is spoken of the children, what is said about the spouse is probably just as bad. This kind of comment comes near to guaranteeing an unhappy home!  They are a reflection of the parents bad attitudes and have life long affects on the children and marriage.  Word’s are powerful. They can be used to tear down or build up.Take time to reflect…

What do my words say to  those I love?

What have I said about my spouse to others?

What damage have I done to my family?

How can I begin to rebuild relationships?

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As the sun rises with each day, we are each given a new beginning, a choice.

Like Anne of Green Gables  says, “today is a new day without any mistakes in it!”

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 I choose to not only bear with each person’s  idiosyncrasies, but to take delight in them.

I will take time to whisper words of  appreciation into their ears.

I will let them know I believe in them and encourage them.

I will tell them of my unconditional love.

I will speak highly of them in the presence of others.

I will teach them to measure their own words…

How do they talk to each other?

How do they speak to us, as parents?

How do they portray their siblings to others?

How can they rebuild those fragile relationships they may have damaged?

~~~~~~~~~~

We highly value family life.  

Whether in the work place, in the grocery line,

or talking with a friend may our words portray a contagious love for our family.

Lessons in Grace with Great Aunt (part 11)

16 Sep

Five Areas to Better Serve

Caring for others, whether it be small children, the sick, elderly… whoever is in need, is challenging and often all consuming.

It was our desire and choice to care for Great Aunt. It was a natural fit,  in that I was already home everyday caring for our own children, we both had some experience in the area, and had purchased a house that suited the situation.  Never-the-less, sometimes the task was overwhelming.  At times I found it affecting every other area of my life.

It was during a low ebb,  drained both physically and emotionally, that I pinpointed 5 areas to redirect my focus to better serve both Great Aunt and my family.

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1. Remember who I am serving

I was serving Great Aunt, but ultimately, I was serving God.  I could never do things well enough for Great Aunt and as a result, felt I was always striving, but never pleasing.  I learned to change my focus, no longer on her but beyond her.

2. Be a duck and let it roll

When accusations came, like in the stolen lipstick and undergarments experience, my first response was to defend myself.  Sometimes defense isn’t necessary, better to let the comments roll – like water droplets rolling off the back of a duck.

3. Speak with grace

Whether responding to Great Aunt or speaking about her to someone else, I determined to speak with grace. Not wanting my own words to resonate in my mind like sharp thistles , I considered how I would feel in her place.

4. Serve secretly

In the midst of Great Aunts complaints, I found myself attempting to “win points” by informing her of things I had done for her. As foolish as that sounds – even as I write now – it is pattern that I still can find myself in if not careful.  My goal was (and still needs to be) to serve quietly, humbly.

5. Serve joyfully

Attitudes from within my heart had a way of creeping out.  If I was discontented,  it was difficult to serve with joy. This point circles back to the first.  When I placed the focus on whom I was ultimately serving (taking it off of myself), the joy would return.

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Reading through my journals and finding these principles, again,

I was struck at how applicable they are to me today.

This is how I want to live.

This is how I want to serve.