Oh that March would be filled…
with purposeful praise!
For me maintenance is one struggle I am constantly maintaining. (This could be why keeping my house clean and have to do a big clean just about every time.) New things and change are exciting to me. I am really good at starting new projects and not always so good at finishing. Usually new ideas are bubbling up within me ready to burst into my life at any moment. As I’ve gotten older, serious work has taken place to increase my ability to maintain. One of the nice things about kids is that they are constantly stepping into the new and the fresh and no two are the same. (Maybe that’s why I want so many !?!)
No matter what is going on in life there are always those things that are valuable to maintain. Like relationships, cleaning, healthy eating and good habits. Since I know good habits are important to maintain the best I can do to make that work for me is to do these good habits in challenge form.
Last month I challenged myself to end the bad habit of yelling in my house…at least the yelling that comes out of my mouth. Amazing how wonderful and easy and difficult it has been. I totally went many days without yelling. And there were days when I erupted like a volcano. Those moments were followed by time of acknowledgement and re-alignment with God and sincere apologies with my kiddos. I noticed some bad habits that went underlying the yelling like snide/hurtful comments used in place of it. I noticed that I yelled more when I was extra tired or lazy. If I responded to the kids from another room instead of going to them and getting on their level that created a yelling atmosphere. Another big thing I noticed that when I was selfish and trying to do my thing, my way I would run into the worst of me. As I noticed these things I worked to eliminate them too. The final thing I noticed was if I did not spend the 5 minutes of focused prayer about this are daily I had a hard time tapping into the abundant strength the Father had available to me. Time with HIM is so important to accomplish any great goal…big or small. Let me just say that a house of no yelling is a much more peaceful house. It is a more pleasant house and it is a place I want to be. This is one habit that I am going to prioritize in order to maintain, because this is the kind of house I want my kids to grow up in.
The Facebook group I created was a great source of encouragement to me. I found that seeing the battles my friends were fighting and their soaring successes it encouraged me immensely. Knowing I had others out there praying with me and for me gave me a strength I wouldn’t have had on my own. In talking with some of them we realized how great this support system was and how we wanted to keep this challenge going. We were liking the results. After spending some time praying I felt like God had a new challenge for us every month this year while we worked on maintaining the accomplishments we have already made. Also, it became apparent to me that we needed to make additions to our lives, not just subtractions. So, every other month we are going to add something and subtract on the opposites.
In February we subtracted yelling from our houses. In March we are adding…you guessed it Purposeful Praise. Here’s the challenge –
Purposeful Praise March Challenge
PART 1 -Choose a someone or someones to purposefully praise this month
It could be your kids (who I’m choosing) and/or your spouse or just someone in your life who you have a hard time speaking well of.
Each day come up with three things to praise them about. One of the praises should be something about their appearance (like they have a great smile). One of the praises should be about some action they do (like helping fold laundry). And the last praise should be something about the very nature of who they are (like how creative or focused they are). The point of these praises are to build up the person(s you choose and bring out the best in them. I’m calling this Praise Three Ways!
PART 2 -Write these praises down in a journal or on your computer or scraps of paper or their baby books…somewhere. At the end of the month you should have at least 90 praises for that person. And if you maintain this challenge you would have around 918 praises for them. Imagine reading a book your parent had filled with praises about you. Would that be something you would want? I think it would be pretty cool.
SUB-PART 3 -During February I worked with Yummy on a Happy Response Chart. That meant that he responded the first time when I asked him to do something or anticipated something and proactively helped out or did something loving. For his part of the March challenge I am looking for him to come up with one praise for his brother everyday. I want to teach him to focus on the good things about the people in his life. I have talked to him about what we are trying to do, but because he is small I am pretty sure he is going to need some help and reminders. I figured talking about it with him at mealtimes would be a good way to spark his positive thoughts. I think it’s really important to help our kids be practiced in tapping into the God-side of themselves, to see HIM come out in all that they do. And I know the truth of it is that the more we tap into HIM the more they will too. The simple truth is that kids mirror what they see.
And don’t forget that the most important part of this challenge is spending 5 minutes a day seeking God on His wisdom and advice for how best to praise others. He will surely inspire you and give you His eyes to really see what your children/spouse/person needs to hear that day. And I know that when the day is hard He will help you see past the frustration and into the LIGHT that is life.
I would love to have you join me on this month’s challenge or at least parts of it. Or maybe you’d like to get a group of your friends together and have them join you. Let’s be positive, productive, purposed parents and people. Let me know by commenting on this blog if you want to join me or send me a FB message that you want to join the group there. Or, if you have your own group going just fill me in so I can be praying for you all.
You know how they say that March is either in like a LION out like a LAMB or in like a LAMB and out like a LION, well, I would like to say that for me this March is going to be in giving PRAISE and out celebrating PRAISE. I see dancing on my horizon. How about you?
P.S. -I changed my blog layout. Figured it was time for a change (haha). I might have a few kinks to work out so give me a little time.