Sprinklers and Sunshine
This Mother’s Day was spent enjoying the blessing of beautiful weather that the Lord so graciously provided to us. One of my favorite things about summer is the adorable piggy toes I get to nibble on as my children leave their socks behind. And this weekend I throughly enjoyed being a mom. Funny, you never know. You never know what being a mom will be like. I often feel like it’s a roller-coaster ride, but I am coming to the understanding that I actually have a lot more control over this ride than I ever thought.
It’s my choice what kind of a mom I want to be. I cannot control everything my kids do. I cannot control the circumstances of life. I can only submit to God all that I am and open myself to His leading and guidance. I can accept that my emotions, attitude and responses often drive my family’s emotions, attitudes and responses. And I can certainly do something about that.
Sometimes Mother’s Day can be a day of expectations. I mean, you as a mom work hard all year…having a day where YOU are celebrated is kind of a nice thing. But the problem is that when you come to the table with lots of expectations you can tend to be disappointed. (Of course, there is ONE table that always exceeds your expectations.) The human table however, often just falls short. I remember my second Mother’s Day. The next day I woke up extremely disappointed that I had not even had a picture taken of my beautiful son and myself. So, last year I was determined to have a nice picture taken. And I got some nice ones. This year, I just wanted to relax and have fun. And truth be told I did not get any pictures of the kids and myself, but I got some really great pictures of my darlings playing in the sun and sprinklers. And I had a lot of fun.
It was a great day because I did have expectations. I had expectations for myself. I expected that I would let go of stress and frustration and my idea of how things should be done and hang on to the peace God had readily available to me. I am really starting to understand that this is the key to great parenting too. Put the expectations on yourself. Expect yourself to let go of laziness and pour into your kids. Expect that there will be bad days, but that you can turn them around by keeping your attitude in check. Expect that there will be poop blow-outs right before you leave, face scrapes right before important pictures, fighting between siblings when you NEED some peace and quiet and overall anything that could go wrong probably will…and you can handle it all with peace in your heart. You can actually smile when a whole plate of spaghetti sauce gets dropped on the white carpet (okay, maybe not right away) and allow God’s grace to reign. If you expect yourself to submit to God and train yourself to look to Him to lead, you can expect to see Him work miracles in your everyday situations.
5 Practical Applications
-Spend Time with God (you can’t expect to tap into what He offers if you haven’t spent time building relationship with Him)
-Spend focused time teaching your kids how to act by example (this means you practice how they act when you go to a store, the park, the zoo, etc.)
-Forgive yourself when you mess up (Nothing keeps you from succeeding more than hanging onto to the failures of the past)
-Turn off outside distractions so your children hear and understand what you say and you hear and understand what they say (It seems to me this is especially huge with boys…men are not natural multi-taskers)
-Know that each of your children will be different in how they listen and respond to what you ask of them and learn how to effectively communicate to them specifically ( by knowing what they need your communication can be more effective to get what you need)
You are in charge of you. And you can determine if your day is going to be filled with stormy clouds or sprinklers and sunshine!