Thursday, July 10, 2008

Practical Principles

I was a little surprised when my sister recently commented that my Gum Removal post had been the most practical and helpful post that I've blogged. She seemed to think I should share more practical advice. I have found that the more kids I have, the more I find myself focusing on (and bloggin about) principals instead of the methods that have really faded out of importance in my mothering. My memory seems to have retained only what it deemed the essentially important stuff (which usually is, the principle). I have found that children survive whether they were scheduled or on-demand, whether they wore huggies or Pampers, etc... Whether little butts ought to be slathered in organic diaper cream or stinky ole Desitin doesn't get me real revved up anymore. I usually don't even remember what worked and what didn't. These days, I cling to my principles and very often just shake my head and laugh, run for the camera and instruct as I go. But I think my sister has a point. New mothers do need a little methodology sometimes to bring godly principals into practical mothering because it is such new ground. So, I've decided to try harnessing some principal with a little more step by step practical help here on To Train Up a Mother. Beginning with.........HOW TO RESPOND WHEN YOUR SON RIPS APART YOUR HOME AND YARD TO MAKE A HOMEMADE CAST IN IMITATION OF HIS FATHER:
1. First, breathe. Try to see past the gaps in your little white picket fence and look at your son's heart. He wants to be just like Daddy. What a beautiful thing! Scripture says the heart, is "the wellspring of life" so we don't want to bypass it's intentions! I highly recommend Shepherding a Child's heart if you have not read it.
2. Get the camera. We want to capture these beautiful things.
3. Laugh. is funny. The kid has a pair of Fruit of the looms wrapped around his foot, held securely with a bungy cord. He has ripped apart the white picket fence of the American dream in such perfect childish irony.
4. Now of course, instruct him. After you get a good pictures, make sure he puts back his Father's bungy cord and understands to ask permission next time he gets into Dad's stuff. Make sure he puts the briefs in the laundry, and that (here's the clincher!) he fixes the fence. If you fix it for him, you've just crushed his dream of being like his hard working Daddy.
5. Don't feel guilty if you need a margarita now. A lot of us would. ;)


Jenni said...

Okay, that is really funny! I seem to have had a lot of those moments lately, and haven't had such 'godly' responses. Let's just say I was glad that Guenna was there to see my response when I found my 15 seed packets all dumped into one big pile on my outdoor swing, did I mention they are my NEIGHBORS seeds?! So much for saving money on seeds this year! It's amazing though, how those situations do really matter, what really matter is our first response to the situation, and in my case that is what is usually not the best thing :) Oh well, God is still working on me and I'm sure that is why these things keep happening! Bless you Liz!

christa jean said...

Great post, Liz!
I too have found that certain methods/techniques that I once would have been so extremely oppinionated about are not as important to me now.
I'm sure that is just part of the way God has been trainin' me up to be a better mother!

It does all come down to the heart. And the words and actions are only indicators as to what is truly inside. "Even a child is known by his actions, whether his conduct is pure and right." Proverbs something or other ;-D
Unfortunately for me, my actions (or harsh reactions) also reveal my heart. My heart has impatience and perfectionism inside and they often come out, much to my chagrin.

I LOVED that book and will be reading it over and again until my kids are out of the house, to be sure.

Anonymous said...

I was remembering last night how growing up both my brother and my little cousin would get into my stuff and follow me around and order the same thing I did at Azteca and fight with me over the most desirable spoon to eat our breakfast cereal with. I was SO annoyed at the time. Now I look back and I'm so honored and humbled that they just were wanting to be like me! I want to teach Hope to receive the sometimes clumsy admiration with grace, unlike how I did. Anyway this story reminded me of that and what a beautiful thing it IS! I am so ripped up and humbled every time my little baby girl just lights up when she sees me or her Daddy, it is such a huge responsibility to be an Example and I want to handle it with grace and laughter.

-love, April (my google name is not accepting my password ... weird ...)