Tag Archives: parenting

Three Truths Experiment

ThreeTruthsExperiment

There seems to be something changing in our family. A few weeks ago we started naming truths about our kids and they are claiming them for their own. It has been incredible to watch them step into a belief of who they are in Christ instead of falling to the whispers that they are not good enough, or bad.

I am challenged by what I have seen, especially with Elijah, and want to start claiming some truths for myself.

I am 41 years young. I have spent the majority of my almost 15,000 days on this earth believing more often that I lack value, than days standing firm on who I am in God.

When my daughter cried that she was a terrible person I rebelled at the notion for her, but when I really think about it, I know I have claimed that for my own life time and time again.

Well it is time for a change and so I have decided to do a “Three Truths Experiment.”

I am going to choose 3 character traits that I believe God has created me with and I am going to start living in those truths. Looking for ways to use His gifts to be a blessing to others.

I was asked by a friend how we chose the three truths for our kids. It all started with Elijah. He had received a note home from a teacher saying how kind and compassionate he was. I knew that about him but this solidified it for him too. We added brave because I told him it takes bravery to keep making good choices, to be kind to those who may not be kind back.

After naming Elijah’s, we moved on to Karlena. Elijah was very helpful in picking out good qualities in his siblings.  And so adventurous, kind and brave were named for our girl.

Gabriel was given hard-working, caring and generous and Isaac – funny, helpful and creative. I loved that the younger kids wanted to help in choosing positive truths for their older brothers!

We told our kids that these three truths aren’t the only things that we believe they are gifted with…but 10 truths per child for me to remember was going to be too much! 🙂 As I shared already, Elijah has added helpful to his list on his own. He is starting too see these positive traits in himself and others and is owning them!

Isn’t that the whole point?

Recognizing the positive things about ourselves and walking in those truths instead of being weighed down by lies that we aren’t good enough, we are failures etc.

So I am going to do this little experiment myself, and I’d love for you to join me.

Will you join me in establishing three truths for your life and then start walking through each day in full acceptance of those truths?

I have a sneaking suspicion that if we do this we will start to see a change. A change in how we see ourselves, how we see others and interact with our fellow man.

I have seen it in my son. Especially in those difficult moments. He is still six, he too can be selfish and sneaky, naughty even. But recognizing the truth of who God created him to be has changed how quickly those negative moments turn to good.

I want the freedom that he has, I want to walk in truth instead of being weighed down by lies. I know that God created each of us for a specific purpose, it’s high time we start living into that calling.

I will be praying over my words and will be back soon to share what my three truths are.

Are you in?!

“I’m a Terrible Person!”

Broken Chains

She came in the door sobbing. The kind of cry that would make one think something must be broken.

“I’m a terrible person”, “I’m a terrible person” she yelled in between sobs.

I grabbed her close and asked her why she would even say that.

She is 5. Oh how I don’t want this for her. This naming and claiming of lies.

Apparently something had happened as she and her brothers came back home from a friend’s house. I don’t know if she fell, or if she intentionally did it…but somehow snow got inside the barrel of one of Gabriel’s nerf guns that she was carrying.  In response, one of the neighbor kids told her she was naughty.

She was almost inconsolable. And while I know that my girl can be naughty at times, there is no doubt, I wanted to get at the heart of what she was saying.

I grabbed onto her hands and made her look me in the eyes.

I reminded her of the three truths we had given to her. Elijah had helped choose words for his sister after we picked his.  Karlena is Adventurous, Kind and Brave.

As I held her hands I repeated those three words over and over.

“Karlena, you are Adventurous, Kind and Brave, do you remember that?’

“God made you with those special qualities, look at me Miss…do you remember?”

“Adventurous, Kind and Brave”

She was still crying, but the intensity with which she was, had decreased.

Truth, she needs truth at this moment.

“You are NOT a terrible person, you are Adventurous, Kind and Brave.”

And then we talked about how sometimes even filled with our God-given attributes, we make mistakes.

“Mommy makes mistakes, Daddy, Elijah and Gabriel…even Isaac off at college. None of us is perfect.”

“But we can’t let those mistakes define who we are. Not when you are Adventurous, Kind and Brave.”

We talked about forgiveness, about saying we were sorry if we had hurt someone/something…even if unintentionally. I encouraged her to tell her brother that she was sorry and promised her that he would offer forgiveness.

She said sorry with big, fat tears in her eyes but the second Gabriel said he forgave her she ran and gave him the biggest hug.

And as quickly as the storm had come in, it had left.

I am 41 years young 😉 and at times I still walk around reminding myself that “I’m a Terrible Person.”

I could make a list of all the reasons that would support my claim. But is that what God wants for us?

Yes it is necessary for us to take responsibility for our actions, and sometimes that means saying we are sorry and asking for forgiveness. Hopefully as we mature (and I am not quite there yet, trust me) we learn from our mistakes and turn from those choices to better ones.

I can’t expect perfection from my kids. I won’t.

I do pray that they start to embrace the amazing truths about who they are so that even when they do make a mistake they are so firm in who God made them, that they can weather the storm, the lies that will come at them.

This isn’t a parenting “fix” so that our kids will be appropriately behaved.

No, instead this has been an opportunity for growth in our home. A naming and claiming of the truth and a stomping out of the lies.

It is easy for me to start down the path of “why didn’t I do this sooner…” But I can’t stay there. I have an incredible opportunity to change the path we have been on. Less good versus bad and more truth to overcome the lies.

I start to get a little excited when I think of the freedom that will come of this…Chains are breaking friends, can you hear it?!

Have you given yourself or your kids three truths? I so encourage you to try it and then watch what happens as a result…I’d love to hear your stories as they happen, because I am confident they will blow you away!

Original Photo Credit: via

Empowered to Choose

Choose Elijah

I shared last week about how I had given my kids 3 words. Words that might encourage them to see how God created them. Words that would inspire them to be a blessing to others. I saw it working right away…it is pretty amazing actually and I only wish I had figured this out years ago.

I guess it has been born of my own recent self discovery.

I have been stuck for so long in a place where I felt defined by my failures, where I wanted to be defined by my accomplishments, seeking man’s approval and not considering how I was created in the image of God.

I have walked through life making choices, having responses, laying blame and not taking responsibility for who I was because I wasn’t able to see who I was in Christ. Yes I committed my life to Him and believed I was saved, but I always saw myself as the messy sinner that I was.

I thought I had an understanding of grace, but never really for myself.

But I am realizing that living in this way, full of lies and weighed down by past sins isn’t the life giving freedom that God wants us to walk in, through Him. It is exactly why He sacrificed His son…so we didn’t have to live this way.

I see my own kids responding to life in many of the ways that I have, and I wanted it to change. Yes they would continue to make mistakes, we all do, but what if they could fill their minds and hearts with truth instead? Would it make a difference?

It has and it does.

Elijah has been the most impacted. He held the door again after school for his classmates. He apparently volunteered in the classroom when his teacher was out for the day and his substitute sent a note home and said he was her hero.

Do you know what it does to a young child to be called a hero?!

This morning we were talking on the way to school and he said he wanted to add a 4th word to his list! He called himself helpful. Then he proceeded to name some strengths he saw in me.

He is looking for the good in others and then telling them. He is six. Imagine what a lifetime of hearing and affirming the truth about who God created him to be will do?!

In choosing 3 simple words for my son he is now empowered to choose more truths for himself and others.

He is choosing to see that God created him for good. At six he has a purpose, he believes these truths about himself. He won’t always get it right, but he is embracing the positive instead of believing the negative lies.

Oh how I want everyone to be transformed in the way my son has. We need to start claiming the truths of who God created us to be. Stop believing the lies that you are too dirty, too broken, too sin-filled to be used by God.

Name 3 truths about who God created you to be and start walking in them today. {<====Click to Tweet}

I have maybe shared this song with you already, but it is such a powerful song that I wanted to share it today. It is called Clean by Natalie Grant and the words so speak to who I have seen myself to be, and the the reality of who I am in Christ.

God is restoring my heart and my life piece by piece. I can see it in even the smallest of ways and I am just humbled by His grace in my life.

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Kind, Compassionate and Brave

Elijah kind compassionate and brave

Last week I shared a little about a parenting failure I had. And I shared that I had decided to start encouraging my kids with 3 words that would describe some of the gifts God had created them with.

So every morning when I take Elijah to school I have been reminding him that he is kind, compassionate and brave and that God made him special that way and he should keep his eyes open for opportunities to use those gifts to be a blessing to others.

As parents we hope that the wisdom we are trying to impart to our kids sticks. Sometimes it feels like it goes in one ear and out the other…but in this case the simple things I was telling Elijah were making a difference.

In addition to these truths, I want to make sure that they know that regardless of how they behave they are loved no matter what. It is a message they need to hear, over and over again.

Yesterday Elijah was being a little naughty. He was supposed to write 100 words for his homework and the 100th day of school coming up here in a few days. He had been playing for the majority of the day so I thought a short break to write 10 more words would be a good idea.

He wasn’t thrilled.

He started squirming in his seat. He wrote with poor handwriting and pretended not to know how to spell a few words I knew he had down. So I took it away from him and sent him upstairs. I was angry yes, but clearly we weren’t getting anywhere.

A little while later he came down to apologize to me. He said “I know you are angry at me…” I grabbed his hand and reminded him that he was kind, compassionate and brave. I told him that I know how good he does at school and I felt like he wasn’t trying very hard on his homework. Yes it made me angry but it doesn’t change how much I loved him. I asked him to forgive me for being angry and then he went to finish his words.

We finished the last 40 words in no time. And I could tell he was proud of the work he did. This scenario could have played out so much differently, my response can make all the difference and I am seeing just how true that is recently.

Today started like it has the past week, we talked about Gabriel’s 3 words on the way to the middle school and then I gave my encouragement speech to Elijah as he left the car. What a wonderful way to send then off to their teachers, head held high with 3 truths of who they are in God.

When I went to pick him up from school he was a little late coming out. He asked me if I knew why he took so long…no buddy, what happened?

I expected something negative, but then he said this.

“I held the door for all of the 1st and 2nd grade classes mom, you know why? Because I am kind, compassionate and brave.”

Yes you are son, yes you are.

He was using those truths, that in less than a week he has embedded into his heart, to be a blessing to someone else.

God is moving in that boy and I am blessed to have a first hand view of it.

What 3 words might make a mighty difference in the lives of your kids? Look I am NO expert at parenting. I could write a book on all the mistakes you want to avoid with your kids because I have pretty much made them all. But this 3 words idea has already made an amazing impact on my kids and on me. So maybe it is worth a try?!

The Hard Truth

parenting fail

This parenting business is no joke.

I become more aware of my failures as a parent each and every day. And let me just say that before I share my most recent “lesson” with you…there is grace here. Grace for me and grace for anyone reading this that might relate to my struggles. No condemnation – just an opportunity for awareness and grace.

I saw this cute quiz on a friend’s Facebook page. She had asked her young children some questions about her and asked them to answer. Their responses were so loving and adorable…so my first mistake was thinking that my sweet darlings would respond in the same manner about me.

I was wrong. Clearly.

First question – “What is something that I say all the time to you?”

My friend’s kids answer  – “I love you!”

Mine – “Stop doing that.”

I am not even kidding here. I should have known that this wasn’t going to get any better…

Second question – “What makes me happy?”

My friend’s kids answer  – “Playing games with me!”

Mine – “When I am good.”

Third question – “What makes you sad?”

My friend’s kids answer  – “When you have to give me discipline”

Mine – “When I am naughty.”

I stopped the quiz and decided that my heart couldn’t take any more. It is something that has been unfolding before me in the recent few weeks and this quiz had solidified in me the need for a change.

I have talked about it before here that I have struggled my entire life feeling like I didn’t measure up. To what exactly, I’m not sure…but it was a feeling I have lived with forever.

It didn’t matter how hard I tried to “be good”…I was a sinful, selfish human being and eventually all my trying led me right back to a place of failure. A blow up, an unkind word, a threat…the list could go on and on.

I read this book called “Tired of Trying to Measure Up” and while some of the things didn’t necessarily fit with me, so many things did. And it all leads back to one main underlying emotion.

Shame.

When we spend our time trying to measure up to this standard of perfection that we set for ourselves, and then we fail, the natural response is to feel ashamed.

There were things in this book that I knew as a parent I had been doing. Not intentionally no, but a way of communicating with my kids that has allowed them to believe that by “being good” mommy is happy and when they are “bad” mommy is not.

Now yes, I feel happy when my kids are behaving, that is true. But am I communicating to them that I love them NO MATTER WHAT? That even on the days that they make mistakes, there is nothing that would make me love them more or less?

Am I modeling that unconditional love that Christ has for me?

The reality is – no.

As much as I would like to tell you differently, I am learning that this is something in my character that need refining.

I want my kids to understand the difference between good and bad choices. They need to have consequences when they make wrong decisions and can be praised when they are a blessing to others.

But here is what struck me so deeply last night.

It is NOT my kids responsibility to make or keep me happy. They are NOT responsible for my emotions and if I am communicating with them in a way that makes them believe they need to somehow “manage” my feelings…well then things have to change.

This morning I talked with Elijah a little and told him that it was not his job to make sure I was happy. I told him that there were a lot of things that make me happy and I listed off a few things. His smile being one of the biggest.

I also told him that no matter what, I would always love him. Even on the days that he makes wrong choices. I told him that sometimes those choices might make me sad but I would ALWAYS love him, just like God does.

Shame can be a good emotion when we can learn from a mistake and move forward.

But when the pressure to measure up and strive towards an unachieveable perfection causes a lifetime of feeling ashamed of who we are, it is not healthy.

I am working now on retraining my thought processes. It is my natural response to see only the negative in myself (and oftentimes others) and it has kept my in chains for too long.

I am starting by seeking out the truths of who I am in Christ.

Setting my feet on the solid rock of God and remembering that regardless of my choices, God loves me no matter what.

I want my children to walk in that truth as well.

Today I told Elijah that there were 3 things I wanted him to remember about how God uniquely created him. Yes there are so many things I could add to this list, but 3 seemed like something he could remember easily.

I said “You are kind, you are compassionate and you are brave. God gave you those gifts, try and be a blessing to someone else today.”

Will he fail? You bet. We all do.

But my hope is that he will start to walk in the truths of who he is. He will believe those truths over the lies that the enemy will try and whisper to him and he will know that he is loved no matter what.

As parents it is all we can do, own it for ourselves and then pass on the truth to the littles we have been entrusted with.

Original Photo Credit: via modified

The Proud Parent Of….

SDSMTGoing off to college is a major life change. I don’t really remember being filled with fear over it…but I am sure I was.

I attended a college in my hometown my first year. There was some safety in that. I knew that I could go home and do my laundry and not have to use the machines at school. I knew how to get around town and I still had my part time job that I had in high school. Sure the idea of going from building to building was scary and the classes would be hard, but I loved the community that I felt in my “small” school.

I thought that I would be there for the next 4 years.

But at some point in my first year it was evident that I needed/wanted to switch my major and I had to change colleges to do so. I felt like a failure...I had all these plans for so long and now I was doing something different. Who could be proud of that?!

Dominic also made a change after his first year. He attended the school that Isaac is at today…it wasn’t for him and after his freshman year he changed too. That is how we met, at our new college, carrying the baggage that in our own ways we had “failed”…

Perceptions like that can cling to a person. Whether they are appropriate or not…they can shape how we think and view ourselves.

When Dominic started Law School there were these window clings that had the name of the school on them. I told him to buy one that first year…I was really proud of him….it was like a bragging right to have that on your car.

But he said he wouldn’t buy one until he graduated…he needed to believe that he could do it first, needed to prove it to himself and others. After he graduated you can bet we bought the cling.

As we dropped off Isaac this past week there was a place for parents to pick up a bunch of information, and at that table was a window cling. Proud parent of SDSM&T.

I grabbed 2 and when we got home last night I put one on my computer cover. I am a proud parent of a South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Student.

Tech is a HARD school. They do their very best to weed out the students that can’t hack their programs in the first year. Isaac has some terribly hard classes, Trig, Calc and some Finite math for computer science class. I don’t even know what having classes like that would be like. Well I do…it would mean complete and utter failure for someone that isn’t math minded like myself.

He is going to have to work hard. It will not be easy, that is a guarantee. He may love it and he may decide like we did that he wants to do something else. And if he does I will be proud of that too.

I want to live my life embracing the here and now. Right now my oldest just started at one of the hardest tech schools, and yes I am proud. He doesn’t have to graduate for me to be proud…I already am.

Moving in to a dorm with strangers, leaving your family and the routine you have come to know for the past 18 years…it is all really hard changes. There were lots of kids that we saw that looked terrified. I am not kidding….they looked scared out of their mind.

As a parent we should be proud of our kids for taking these next steps.

I know that Isaac won’t do everything perfectly. There will be hard times and likely some failures. He will have tough choices to make and we will see his character develop through it all. He doesn’t have to have it all together for me to be proud of who he is. He doesn’t have to prove it to me that he can do it.

I already know he can.

Whatever career path he decides he wants to pursue, I know he will succeed. It will be something he is passionate about and he will work hard to do his best. I have already seen that in him, and I know it will continue as he gets older.

Parents these times are hard on us…especially us mama’s that are emotionally “gifted”. I will miss talking with Isaac every day in person. Miss hearing about his day…I don’t want to bombard him with text messages so I can hear all about how it is going. He will probably not tell me everything just so I don’t worry. 🙂

So I am going to be focused on praying for my son…for all the kids there at Tech. Praying that they would start to feel comfortable in their new surroundings. That they would find their classes and make new friends. I will pray that they will stand strong in their convictions and be an example to others. And I will pray that they know how proud of them we are as parents.

I will be Isaac’s biggest cheerleader. Through the good and the bad. Through the tough choices and even the wrong decisions. It is my privilege as his mother to cover him in prayer and cheer him on this new path he is on.

Proud? Absolutely, 100%…no matter what.

Exhaustion, Influenza, Christmas and More

I realize I have been pretty quiet here lately. It is hard for me to believe that I had the capacity to write every day for 31 days in October. I posted 9 times in November and only 3 times this month. I think God knew that I could handle it in October, because clearly the remainder of 2014 was going to be an all out war.

To lay it out there honestly, I am EXHAUSTED.

Pretty much everything life is throwing at me right now is too much, and most of that is self imposed I know. Some of it was unplanned and those things have hit me the hardest.

I have lit the candles on my advent wreath twice. There I said it. Day 2 and I think day 6. We read a smidgen of the book I had all perfectly laid out and the pages haven’t cracked since. Sure looks pretty but it is all show. Plain and simple I have failed having a spirit of Advent in our home this season.

Advent wreath

Our Christmas Angel has moved each day, but typically not at 9:30pm when my reminder alarm is set because Karlena is ALWAYS still awake…so I forget and scramble at 5:30am instead. One of the days I am going to get caught.

Christmas Angel

Last week Elijah was sick and out for 4 days, poor kid didn’t have his spunk….except for the day he was at home with me when our daycare was closed, the day after my surgery, when I should have been resting but he and Karlena fought and screamed so badly that I may have lost my temper at them that my screaming caused me to double over in pain.

Elijah sick

Yes THAT was a proud moment…the moment when you tell your kids that LITERALLY they are going to make their mama explode if they don’t stop fighting.

Heading right on into our weekend was Karlena’s first dance recital…where I stressed over getting the perfect ballet bun. We tried a couple of times and figured it out thanks to You Tube.

ballet bun

She was adorable and while she doesn’t seem to be a natural quite yet, she looked beautiful in her costume and fulfilled my mama’s dream of having a dance daughter.

Karlena ballerina

 

I have not wrapped a single Christmas present. NOT A ONE. My kids keep asking me to please wrap presents, but first I would have to box everything up into unidentifiable containers so that I can wrap in front of them, or with them as they would prefer….but this mama is EXHAUSTED. Did I mention that?

Oh and yesterday I went to see a Dr. because I was feeling like I wanted to die, and was told I likely have Influenza. (They don’t even bother testing when you have all the symptoms) Because OF COURSE. So go home and rest mama, and oh too bad so sad the pharmacies in town are all out of the meds to treat it. 🙁 I cried a little and crawled in bed. I posted an updated to FB and someone I know, who will remain nameless, contacted me because they had just had Influenza and had extra meds…because the week before the pharms were packed full of meds and they were filling scripts for the entire family. And one of the peeps in their family didn’t use/need the meds they bought. This may be some black market/illegial stuff going on but I was desperate.

But Praise Jesus – I mean seriously PRAISE JESUS. These meds were a LIFE SAVER. I told my mom I feel 800 thousand times better today. Not great, but I am not whimpering in a corner either. Life is looking up.

Christmas is ONE WEEK away, and did I mention that I have NOTHING wrapped? Oh, sorry I am still a little foggy here…I am going to just go with it. We may just celebrate Christmas up in Isaac’s closet….where all the presents are “hidden”…and I use the term “hidden” loosely, but since most of my children are too young to know I blog, they won’t read this soon enough to know to go and peek. Mom for the win.

Some day I will post my award winning, best ever stuffing cups recipe. Some day I will maybe even share my family Christmas letter…but for today I am hanging on by a thread, guilty over all the time away from the office I have spent in the last week…stressed over all there is to do in ONE WEEK, one week people! Agh!!

So may your days be Merry and Bright…around these parts I am just hoping for a little less insane! <3

Just Paint – A Riches of His Love Parenting Series…Advice from the WORST mom ever!

Parenting Series

I hadn’t even been home from work for 5 minutes and I was ready to go back.

Yes it was Friday night and I should have been excited about the upcoming weekend, but the reality was that I walked into kids fighting and I could feel my blood pressure rise immediately.

What is it about fighting, screaming kids that can push you over the edge?!

The past two days had been especially bad. Elijah spent the early part of the week away at a fun camp with his grandparents and cousin Isabel. Apparently he cried every night for us but once he came home, the “missing mom feelings” wore off and his temper and sass were back in full force.

I tried some calm and positive correction.

His response?

“I don’t like your attitude mom”

Excuse me?!

Anything I or his brother Gabriel said to him he repeated in a taunting voice. He was testing the waters big time!

Then he told me that he couldn’t stop being naughty because they devil was making him do it and because the devil was making him misbehave it wasn’t really his fault. (Seriously?!)

I could feel myself getting more and more angry and it was work to keep my voice from yelling back at him.

And then I decided to ask him what he wanted to do. What was it that would help him to behave?

“Paint, I want to paint.”

He has asked to paint before and usually I find a reason not to bring out the paints. It always seems like such a hassle.

But for some reason this night I thought it was worth a try. No he hadn’t “deserved” the right to do something he really wanted to do. He had been nothing but naughty for almost 2 hours straight, but I was desperate for a change…so I said yes.

Just Paint

We got out the watercolors and a few sheets of paper, a cup of water and he was ready to go.

He painted for maybe 10 minutes. 10 blissful, sass-free minutes and it was wonderful. 

Within a half hour he was right back to burping at his brother and chasing his sister. Short-lived peace, yes, but I learned a good lesson.

Sometimes we have to be willing to try something new. We need to say yes to things like painting if it means we will be able to regain some of our sanity, even if just for a few minutes.

What have you said yes to, in order to get some peace from your kids?! I’d love for you to share your stories in the comments below!!

A Mother on the Edge – A Riches of His Love Parenting Series…Advice From the WORST mom ever!

Parenting Series

I got a vox from a dear friend this morning. She was a mother on the edge. It was maybe the 10th full day of summer and she was struggling to find sanity in the craziness of schedules that had been thrown out the window, routines down the drain, and a 4 year old who seemed to try and push EVERY.SINGLE.BUTTON.

While her message was sprinkled with humor, there was a bit of desperation in her voice as well. How will I make it through until August?!

As a mother who clearly has her act together (insert a loud snort and a chuckle) I responded back with some prayers and a little advice.

Now, I don’t give advice because I have it all together or do this parenting thing right every day. Nope in fact most days I FAIL miserably! 

My daughter never flushes the toilet after she poops so anyone going in after her gets a fun surprise. And no, most times she does not use toilet paper. (I know, gross right?!)

My now 5 year old told me today that I was NOT the only one in charge in the family and I couldn’t tell him to behave. (I then threatened  asked him if I should call his father to clear the whole issue up…oh yes I did!!) He may have stuck his tongue out at me….I have blocked that memory out.

No, clearly I am probably the WORST mom to be giving advice, because I don’t have the best behaved children on the block. But I am right down in the trenches with you moms and have found a few things that have worked over the years.

My friend said I should write a book, if not that, at least a blog series. I laughed and said who would read a book called “Parenting Advice from the Worst Mom Ever“? (I am officially trademarking that name too if I ever do write a book, although I don’t know that saying you are trademarking something is technically “legal” and would stand up in court but I am going to go with it!)

Sorry for the legal tangent, back to the “story”…She said she would read a book with that title ha! 🙂 So for fun, and a little change this summer I thought I would try a little blog series.

I realize that a series should be consistent, you know on the same day every week…If I were following the right “how-to’s” in blogging I would add a linky and ask you to share your posts.

But the reality is that we are in our busiest time of the year, for this time of the year! I keep thinking it will slow down and it hasn’t – all good but it has left me exhausted and unavailable when it comes to writing!

So I can’t promise when I will post again in the series – but I know that I have some fun stories to share. And this will be good for me too because I can remind myself of some of the things I have learned in the past so that I can try them again when the opportunity presents itself! Because trust me they WILL present themselves again.

I hope you come along for the ride, and even though I won’t have a fancy linky (because I have NO IDEA how to add one and can’t possibly take the time to learn.) Please share your stories in the comments so we can find strength in numbers.

This parenting thing is tough business and we need all the help we can get! (<====Click to Tweet) I don’t want you to come here and think I have it figured out and that you can’t measure up to me because that is just crazy funny! No perfect parenting how-to’s here!

Instead I will share how I have done it wrong, and then maybe with a little grace, done it better the next time! 😉

 So what do you think?! Will you join me?!

Tough Parenting – A Lesson in Honesty

Pirate Treasure

Parenting is hard. And I realize that this isn’t a new idea, especially to those of you in the thick of raising a 3-5yr old child. But there is just something about those ages that is TOUGH!

And quite honestly, I often get lazy. I know that I am not always the best example but last night I needed to be a good example, even when it would have been easy to let this one thing slide.

Elijah dug some items out of his backpack before dinner. A pirate’s treasure if you will (see picture above).

I asked him where he got it and he said that his teachers gave it to him. Something seemed fishy about that so I started asking him some more questions.

When I came out and just asked him if he was lying…well his face turned down to the ground, he sighed and said yes.

He didn’t have to tell me…I already knew.

So I asked him to get a baggie (which he did reluctantly and with pouting) and told him that we had to bring the items back to school.

“But I really just wanted them mom!!”

Oh son, I know! I get it, I really do. And if I were judging this situation on the value of the items…maybe I would justify letting it slide.

But on principal alone it is important that he learn this hard truth about honesty.

I told him that God wants us to always tell the truth, that we can’t take things just because we want them…and that we were going to have to tell his teachers the truth.

He asked me if he could just sneak them back into the classroom. Oh yes he did!

I told him that wasn’t being honest either.

He knows it was wrong to take them, and he needs to admit what he did. I promised him that I would stand with him so he didn’t have to do it alone…and said that I was pretty sure his teachers would forgive him.

But telling the truth was necessary.

So tomorrow, on the day that they are also celebrating his birthday a few weeks early, we will be bringing cookies to class for treats and a little bag of pirate treasure and learning the heard lesson on being honest.

Hopefully, if he ever feels like taking something again that isn’t rightfully his, he will think about this experience and remember that there is a consequence when we don’t tell the truth…when we steal.

But he doesn’t have to do it alone. I will stand with him, encourage the good behavior and remind him that I love him even when he makes mistakes.

My God has done the same with me time and time again.

Sometimes the sting of my actions hurts and taking responsibility is something that doesn’t always come easily…but when I do, there is forgiveness and lessons learned.

I don’t expect Elijah or any of my kids to be perfect but I can work to teach them right from wrong. As parents it is all we can do to stay afloat most days, so have faith that you are not alone.

Yes parenting is hard, but I am so grateful that God is standing beside me encouraging me along the journey!

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