Gaining a Child’s Respect

dsc00336A few years back I asked Mom what she remembers of the hard parts of raising my 3 brothers and me. She didn’t hesitate and said, “Y’all are wonderful. I couldn’t be prouder. I only have good memories of each one of you.”

It wasn’t the answer I expected. Her memories of me are better than my memories of me. When I expressed surprise, her response gave clarity, “Besides, you were children.”

Besides, you were children. Without a doubt, my brothers and I wore Mom out some days. She remembers VICTORIES, not the draining skirmishes.

dsc00337Our first experience with disrespect from a child throws us off. It’s like a switch got flipped:  I don’t know what’s happened. . .  He used to just do what I said. . .  I know she hears me when I call her. . .  Now he uses this tone with me. . .

When we’re in the thick of it—teaching our child to listen, follow rules, obey a direction—it is discouraging and disappointing to receive disrespect. It hurts. However, I don’t think hurt registers first in our heart. We feel frustration; we didn’t get what we want. Or, if we’re really honest, we didn’t get what we think we deserve–respect.

Our child needs us to help him learn what respect is—what it looks like, how it feels to receive it, and what it says to the person he respects. Our home is the primary training ground.

Respect is built. We have to gain our child’s respect. Today, I’ve released the 11th video in “The Will” series. It’s less than 10 minutes, so listen or watch and pass it along to your friends!

Here’s Video #11 Six Practical Ways to Gain a Child’s Respect.

Here’s Audio #11.

God Sees Beautiful In You

dsc01044 Momma Friend, There is only one YOU.
You and your child are a match made in heaven.

God gave your child YOU. God sees beautiful in you.

He knows the mom we can be today and continue to become—as we depend on him. We can be his vessels to reflect his love and character. The more we invite God into our life and follow him, we become more like him.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3.18)

dsc00447Every day he works in our heart and in our child’s heart. Every day. We decide to turn toward him or not.

He pours love to you. Receive it.
He showers grace. Embrace it.
He supplies wisdom, discernment, and guidance. Seek it, listen for it, watch for it.
He dwells with you. Abide.
He comforts and restores. Rest with him.
God is with you every day. Talk to him–and listen.

We’ll have good days and not-so-good days. We mess up and our child messes up. We hurt and disappoint each other—and we disappoint our self. We are being built by a God who knows our weaknesses, loves unconditionally, and desires that we walk with him.

“For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” 
(1 Corinthians 3.9)

dsc00890Know that you are very significant. That’s a value statement, not a pressure statement. You matter greatly to your child, in the life of your child, and to God. God sees beautiful in you.

For through him (Jesus) we both have access in one Spirit to the Father . . . you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2.18-22)

Getting Meaning From a Meltdown

DSC01339Monday I had a little meltdown. It started as a whisper, “What am I doing?” Within seconds as I looked around my workspace, my suppressed feelings of inadequacy and overwhelm emerged as tears—and another whisper, “God, I don’t know how to do all this.”

After a good cry and a more thorough cry-out to God, his peace filled my heart. My circumstance had not changed. I still have a lot to learn and do. God changed my troubled heart. I emptied the burdens in my heart to God, and he covered those spaces with his presence, love, and peace.

Our meltdown themes vary from the trivial to the truly troubling. As my husband can attest, my closet has been the scene of more than a few trivial meltdowns, “I don’t have anything to wear to this!” – Never mind that I’m staring at clothes on hangars. The troubling meltdowns tend to involve a loved one or a circumstance.

DSC01341God uses our emotions to help us realize the condition of our heart. Either we have a pity-party focused inward, or we can focus upward and gain God’s perspective. Do you believe that God wants to help you in the trivial, too? Well, he does. Sometimes it’s through turning to him in the trivial that we learn he is truly near, listens, and desires personal relationship with us.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3.5–6)

God holds you and me. He holds our children. AND he never ever lets go. God is with us always and he’s for us. He has the way forward and faithfully provides his light at our feet. Practice being present to his presence.

IMG_0699Trust God.
Turn to him with your feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, discouragement, or overwhelm. Release these to him. Invite him to meet you where you are and fill you with all you need from him.

Dear God,
I choose to trust you Lord for . . .  Fill my heart with your love and peace. Today, I choose not to lean on my understanding—what I see and hear. Help me unload to you daily and to receive more of you. Help me acknowledge you as I move though the day—as I work, drive, prepare meals, or engage with my family and community. And I thank you in advance— in faith—that you WILL make my path straight. I love you. Amen.