Chapter 3: Formulas Don't Always Work, spoke deep into my heart. How often do we wish that if we did X,Y, and Z with every child, it would all work out? The Bible offers us much advice in the way of parenting, and much hope. That is the only "formula" I would recommend, however.
Today, I was reading a devotion from my What Happens When Women Say Yes to God devotional, and it hit the head of the nail on what we are reading here. She suggested ways to "breathe" new life into a daily "quiet time"-the title was "Why I'm Breaking up with My Quiet Time". Isn't this a man made phrase anyway?!? Joshua meditated on the Law "day and night"--he didn't really have a "quiet time". David and Daniel were known to kneel and pray three times a day. David spent time in the morning and evening with the Lord, he "meditated" on Him while He was in bed too. What's up with the "quiet time" thing? We SHOULD spend time alone with God, but don't make it so "rote" or "routine" that it becomes more of a habit and less of a relationship. Anyhoo, one of her suggestions REALLY spoke to me:
- "Study wisdom by reading a chapter in Proverbs everyday. p. 46. (*my note here-have you noticed there are 31 chapters in Proverbs? One for each day of most months. This is something I have done often myself).
- "Read something from someone I admire. I need to study leadership this season of my life. So I pick up a book written on this topic by someone I admire and glean from their wisdom. I listen." pp. 46-47
- I was told that if I would just do X, Y, and Z, she would obey. If she wasn't obeying, it was my fault: I was doing it wrong. Of course, I felt like a terrible mother. p. 28. (*true story, this just happened today).
- There's the formula. Give Him the bad, and He'll give you the beautiful. p.29 Love them. Hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, spend more time rubbing their heads and holding their hands. Give yourself to them without rush. p.30 (*true story-just yesterday I was so upset over another full day of trying to get my girls to behave. One of my sons said "Just love them like Jesus." I got defensive and said, "Are you saying I don't love you guys?" The oldest one responded, "That's not what he meant mom. He just meant love them. Regardless. Just love them." Wow! My kids are not reading this book with me, I promise, but the Lord can use them to speak truth into my heart too).
- Lay your child at the foot of the cross. p.31. Ok, I realize this isn't a quote, rather a whole section, but it bears mentioning .This is "the" answer. I cry out and I pray for guidance as a mother.
- Plan what kind of family you want to be. p. 36. Oh the depth of wisdom in this section from Sally! I starred this section, and again, wrote ACTION. This means I HAVE to do something. The action? In the margin, I wrote "set goals/philosophy". Sally writes, "Determine for yourself what you hope to be the outcome of your family. What legacies do you want to leave for your children?" Well, I definitely know I don't want to leave them the legacy of a hurried, frazzled mom who is just "winging" this motherhood thing.