Bestowing Grace (sometimes)

BLOG-Frightened-ChildI always “joke” that I am taking humbleness and patience off my prayer list because when I pray for these things God gives me the opportunity to practice them….a lot. Honestly I am humbled within the first 1 minute of my Pilates class on a weekly basis.

But last week I heard this great tid-bit from a Focus on the Family pod cast about  viewing each challenging situation as an opportunity to practice grace.

I have added this to my prayer list every morning.

Needless to say an opportunity to practice this new skill presents itself within 3 minutes after I am awake. Two of my four cherubs always wake up crabby. There is grumbling and complaining daily. Every once in a while a tragedy i.e. we are out of toaster waffles, causes a complete rapid spiral. When this happens grace is not a word I would use to describe how I handle the hysteria that has taken over our house.

But with my new attitude I am praying through it. “God please allow me to practice grace in every circumstance, even this one. Thank you for this opportunity to practice bestowing your grace”

I am not saying it works every time. In fact it is currently only working about 20% of the time, but I figure that is 20% better than I was last week. And the times that it does work are actually pretty glorious. Once things have settled I am so glad to have kept my cool and more importantly my family is responding so positively to me not freaking out.

Give it a whirl mommas. I promise you will be pleased with the outcome. I don’t think anyone ever regrets not loosing their temper.

2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,

2 Timothy 4:22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.

Why I’m Happy I’m Mad at my Husband

2053781I was so mad at my husband yesterday.He was just being a pill.

I sat there stewing and fuming. Listing all the rotten things about him in my head.

But then that little voice that you start to pay attention to as you get older piped in.

I began to think about why he is acting this way. I don’t have to agree with it but I do need to understand his point of view.

Once I gained an understanding of the why I started thinking of ways that we could communicate and move forward.

Let me tell you what an evolution this has been. We have come a looooonnnngggg way. Back in the day we used to shut down. It was just easier. Shutting down ended up escalating into the beginning of the end. All the old arguments, all the old hurts became the focus. Egos took over.Who was right and wrong became the most important aspect. A cruddy day for one of us could end up being a cold war that lasted for many weeks.

Now we want to talk about it and understand each others point of view. We don’t come with guns blazing. Pointing out flaws, not listening, over talking the other person. Even when we feel defensive at least we recognize it.

This is the good things about 20+ years of marriage. You go through the argument cycles of martyr, indignation, I don’t give a crap and end up finally landing at “How can we fix this”?

You know it is ok to be mad. You realize you are going to take turns being wrong. You also realize it is not personal. Maybe he is having a bad day, maybe he feels justified in his thoughts and thinks I am wrong. Maybe he is just tired. Those are all ok. They are just life. They don’t have to spiral into ugliness.

As you mature you gain perspective and realize most of the time it is not the issue that is bad, Really most of the issues are silly and don’t matter in the big picture. It is the way you handle it. Issues are mostly perception and perception is someones reality. If you can understand why your spouse is feeling that way you can work from there.

So it kind of tickles me when we have a bad moment and we don’t spiral down the dark path. It is nice to know a disagreement is just that. We will get past it. We may even learn from it. This is what makes me happy when we disagree now. It gives me an appreciation of how far we have come and what a better place we are in.

We are wrinklier, chubbier and wiser. The first two are the lame parts of getting older, the last one makes for a much happier marriage.

James 4:1-3 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Disclaimer – This post is not directed towards significant marital problems; gambling, addiction or abuse. If you are experiencing any of these please seek help. Focus on the Family offers great free Christian counseling at the link below. http://www.focusonthefamily.com/counseling/find-a-counselor.aspx

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What Makes a Good Mom Friend

Mothers-with-kids-playdateMy momma friends… what a blessing they have been. When  I look back over the years  I am so grateful for the friends I have gained because of my children’s friends. I think of how these relationships blossomed and I am so amazed that God gifted not only my child with a wonderful friend but me as well.

 

When I think of what makes a good mom friend these 10 things came to mind. (Disclaimer these are things I found important. They may be different for you)

They are things I have learned over the years thanks to the lovely group of mommas I have the privilege of calling my friends

  1. I love the moms that insist on manners and make my children help clean up after play time. I appreciate this because it reinforces the messaging we have at home
  2. I love the moms that  include my children in prayer time. What an awesome opportunity to see another family living out their faith.
  3. I love the moms that are happy with the really long play date. It is so sad when our cherubs are just getting in a groove and then the have to go.
  4. I love the moms that share their concerns over their child’s challenges or their parenting missteps. It is so comforting to know that we all struggle and make mistakes from time to time.
  5. I love the moms that appreciate each of our children’s unique talents. You do not compare. You celebrate each ones gifts.
  6. I am so grateful to the moms that lift our children up in times of conflict. The ones that don’t lay blame and realize it takes two to tango. I appreciate the fact that you realize these times are an opportunity to help them develop conflict resolution skills that will benefit them throughout their life
  7. I am grateful for the moms that invite me in for a drink or stay for some chit chat at pick up. That extra time is how we became such good friends.
  8. I love the moms that forgive when it is my child who has done something wrong. All of our children will blow it at some point.When you embrace them after the stumble you are such a great model to show my children what true forgiveness looks like.
  9. I love the moms that see the good things in my children. Sometimes they see things that even I do not. It is so wonderful to have another mom point out a little nugget you either take for granted or just missed entirely.
  10. I love the moms that love my children, because I love your children too.

There is nothing that makes you love someone more than when they love your cherub. The lifelong friendships I have developed have come from the mommas who genuinely share the love of our children. They see these friendships as building blocks that develop a solid foundation for both of our children.

Colossians 3:12-14  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

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PRAYER FOR YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE SPOUSE

Hey Mommas,

I know many of you are not active on Facebook so I wanted to share these prayers here too. These are taken from www.timewarpwife.com. I love her site. She is so spot on with her prayers. There is one for the girl who will marry your son and the one for the boy who will marry your daughter.

I encourage you to pray for this out loud with your child. xoxoxo

Open Letter to the Girl Who Will Marry My Son

To the Girl Who Will Marry My Son,

I prayed for you today, and as I did, I got to wondering who you are. I wondered how and when you’ll capture the heart of my son. I wondered if we’ll be good friends.

I asked God to keep you safe in His hands. I asked Him to keep your heart and mind as you’re growing in grace.

My hope is that you are well cared for. I pray for those who are raising you. May God grant them with wisdom and understanding.

You are a treasure, created with purpose, knit together in wisdom, and loved by an almighty God. Don’t underestimate that worth.

Don’t judge yourself by a number on the scale, don’t measure your self according the perfection of Hollywood.

Your purity is of great value. Fiercely protect it. Don’t be deceived by those who blur the lines between lust and love, and pressure you into believing a lie. Love waits. When a man truly loves a woman he treats her with honor. He is willing to protect her purity, until the day they are wed.

A woman of virtue is of great value. And what is virtue? It’s doing the hard things because you know they are good. It’s making the right choice, when the going get’s tough. It’s choosing God’s will in lieu of your own.

Seek Him with all of your heart. Dig into His Word, and when you’re feeling discouraged dig deeper yet. Train yourself as a mighty warrior, knowing that one day you will stand in the gap for your children. One day you will ride beside your husband in battle fighting for all that is good. Be strong.

While you’re doing your part, I’m doing mine.

I’m training a young man to love you as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.

I’m raising a boy who understands that great leaders are first and foremost servants of men.

I’m teaching my son what it means to honor and respect a young lady.

And by example, we’re leading the way.

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

To the Boy Who Will Marry My Daughter

To the boy who will marry my daughter,

I prayed for you today as I do every day. I wondered what marvelous things God has in store for your life. I wondered what you might look like, and who you might be. I wondered when and how our paths may cross one another.

As my own children have grown in my womb, so you continue to grow in my heart.

I pray that you are cared for and loved by those who are taking the time to teach you what it means to be a young man. I ask that God grants them with wisdom and strength as they lead by example.

My hope is that you are seeking God’s will in your life, for I know that a man who loves God with all of his heart will love my daughter with all of his strength.

Stand strong in the face of temptation. Guard your mind from the lure of seduction. We live in a world that offers a front seat to sexual sin. Blurring the lines between lust and love, it deceives the heart. I stand in the gap praying that God will sustain you, and give you strength until the day you have taken your bride.

Gentleness is a sign of great strength–humility a symbol of courage and stability, don’t be deceived by those who deem them as weak.

As fresh fallen snow, so is the future before you. A canvas soon to be painted by footsteps. Choose wisely. Have fun. Work hard. Don’t sweat the big stuff. Trust God with your future and allow its unfolding in His perfect time.

I pray that you hunger for the Word of God, for great leaders are those who are led by wisdom and truth.

When you experience days that bring you down to your knees, rejoice. Be exceedingly glad. Our Father is shaping and molding you into the man He designed you to be.

While you’re doing your part, I’m doing mine.

I’m raising a daughter who understands the value of purity, patience, and truth.

I’m training a girl to be a woman of virtue and strength.

I’m teaching her that inner beauty is of great value, and that outer beauty doesn’t have to conform.

We’re showing her what a committed relationship looks like as we lead by example.

And wouldn’t you know it… she’s also praying for you.

May God keep you safe in His arms as you’re growing in grace.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

 

 

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