Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nehemiah 8:10

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Today began ugly. I've been struggling with my eldest, and this morning was no different. On a good day, she and I merely butt heads. On a bad day, like today, I am often reduced to tears after I've lost it and screamed at her. It's a tough relationship, and this morning I questioned God's wisdom in giving me this child when I'm clearly not training her well or meeting her emotional needs.

Later, though, I listened to a CD on child training called "Starting Over." The message was clear -- I can't train my child unless I have a great relationship with her, and that won't happen unless I'm daily investing time with her and praising her. The speaker said that if I have 150 interactions with my child a day, 145 of them need to be lavish praise. Five of them can be correction, but they need to be blanketed in so much love that my child would want to please me by obeying. My praise-to-discipline ratio has been reversed lately.

The speaker also reminded me to find joy in my children, to laugh at their antics, to bring them alongside me during my day, and to be love their childishness. I was strongly convicted, because just an hour before I had barked at my kids to please leave me alone so I could have a few minutes of quiet while I wasted time on my computer. I'm hardly demonstrating love when I'm sending my children out of the room.

So tonight I'm claiming Nehemiah 8:10, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." I'm praying that he'll enable me to find joy in my children and to find joy in Him, so that all my parental weaknesses might become strengths. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bedtime Prayers

Tonight during bedtime prayers I asked the kids to thank God for at least one thing. Kendra and Caelyn thanked him for a house to live in, for getting to see Curious George (for free) in the movie theater today, and for our family. All good things to be thankful for.

Then came David's turn. He's three and a half and is still quite shy about praying aloud. He whispered something incoherent and then grinned at me from ear to ear. I asked him what he thanked God for. David's said, "For going to heaven when we die." His vocabulary is limited and his grammar is error-prone, but David's prayer was perfect. And for that, I thanked God for my son, his tender heart, and his three-year-old understanding of Christ's work on the cross.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

So... Very... Tired

Eight days in Orlando followed by a week of VBS followed by a spontaneous sleepover. Sunday's forecast? Cloudy with afternoon naps.

I have a new favorite job for VBS: Preschool Assembly. The Amys and I sang, danced, and puppeteered. According to Amy M., I have a knack for puppet voices. And Amy T. and Amy S. and I had a blast leading songs and doing the little dance moves and hand motions. My greatest joy was watching all the preschoolers jump around with huge smiles on their faces, although my own son played shy and wouldn't dance with us.

By the way, I have officially done every job in VBS except crafts, but I've done crafts in MOPS so I think I've covered it all. I've done crew guide, hospitality (food), drama, games/activites, and assembly. The only job I haven't done and never want to do is coordinator. I'll let my good buddy Nancy keep that job -- she's doing a stellar job.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Elevator Dancing

See, I would have gotten in the elevator.
Little known fact: My kids and I often dance in public bathrooms. If I'm going to be dragged to every store and restaurant bathroom in town, I might as well make it fun.