Friday, March 1, 2013
Ask more questions!
Growing up there was sort of an unspoken rule from my Dad that you don't ask questions, you just do what's asked of you. My Mom on the other hand wanted us to ask questions more, but she herself wasn't aware that she didn't ask us a lot of questions when teaching us something so we thought that meant we shouldn't ask questions either. Today it's fun to be able to talk with my Mom and learn more about her perspective as opposed to my child's view. I am so thankful to have a good relationship with my Mom and to be able to grow closer even more today.
As I have discovered that, I have wanted to apply that to my children, by asking more questions. Along with that I have noticed that it's so easy to live my life with out communicating my feelings and emotions, or my process of healing with God, or things going on with my husband, to my children... I am not saying I share everything, but I have found that sharing my process out loud clears up a lot of misunderstandings for the kids. Even just explaining why some days I am more moody than others, or if Ruslan and I are having an argument, explaining that I am frustrated but not at them. Also asking them if it scares them when we argue in front of them sometimes. They have said sometimes it bothers them but mostly they have recognized it's not leading to something dangerous like divorce, and I feel it's important to have them see that a marriage isn't perfect and we do have our bad days and have to work through disputes just like them as siblings. They obviously can fully relate to that one. I have noticed that it's just natural for me to go talk to my husband or friends or siblings about my issues or revelations, or great ideas, or God encounters...and I still forget sometimes to share some of that with the kids. Therefore I have had to make a point of learning to talk OUT LOUD to my kids when God does something neat in my life, or when I am frustrated about something, or when I am working through a challenge, or even talking about the fact that I am still learning how to be a better Mom with them. And it's so fun too to hear their hearts and ideas, and to hear their life struggles, I have noticed it stimulates them to talk more about what's going on inside of them as well. I absolutely LOVE hearing the inner workings of my children's minds and hearts, they give me great insight at times. Plus their perspective is just awesome. This all leads to an openness to just step right into ministering to them as well, whether it be praying through a difficult situation with a friend or dealing with thoughts that they don't understand, or worries they have, or fears about God or the future, puberty, a confusing thing they saw on T.V. something someone said to them etc... I can't always be sure that they are telling me everything but I trust that they have learned by example that it's good to share your heart OUT LOUD so that they can get input and insight and not feel all alone in a family where they are so loved.
We have also been working on being aware of love languages, I wrote them on the dry erase board so that I would remember who has what and in what order, because they each have two primary love languages. It's so fun to purposely love on them in their love language, I can totally see the look of fulfillment in their sparkling eyes when I speak out those encouraging words, or give a tight squeeze as one of them is about to run off to play a game. I still forget some days and raise my voice (the kiss of death) to my "words Of affirmation" child, or get annoyed when my "physical touch" child is crawling in my lap squirming around and putting his head right in front of the work I am trying to complete on the computer, etc...But I have stopped being so hard on myself (most days) and realize the other grace that I have found in talking through things, is I can just as easily re-tie strings of emotional connection that I untied, if I am willing to humble myself and apologize for my harsh words or short fuse, and they are so quick to forgive.
I have been so THANKFUL when they do ask questions about misunderstandings because I would have been so sad to have them think something was a certain way when it wasn't! For example:
We were driving in the car and talking about gifts and I happened to be telling Ruslan that I found out "gifts" is my 3rd love language and I hadn't realized that, all these years. So then we were talking about gifts and what we like and don't like. Ruslan starts to tell me that he really does NOT like getting candy as a gift for some reason, and at that moment he happens to look back and Ian is listening in, and suddenly Ruslan remembers Ian's last gift to Ruslan was CANDY! And he can see by the look in Ian's questioning embarrassed eyes that a wrong message was just sent!
"Oh no, Ian I DID NOT mean that at all. I mean I totally love it when it's from my kids, because there is a major salary difference there, it's the heart that matters to me, it means a lot to me that you would pay your own money to buy me anything. I love when you get me candy Ian. I hope you understand what I meant."
Ian was put back at ease as he understood his Papa's explanation. And said "Oh ok, I was wondering?"
I even said after that, I am so glad we noticed you listening Ian! And I always want you to ask questions if you are confused or hurt like that, I would have been so sad to think you might have thought Papa didn't like your gift. We all got a good laugh, and "Phewww!" moment.
Monday, February 25, 2013
|Boys will be boys! I thank God for the adventure of boys :)|
As some of you know I sent out a question about requests for subjects to blog about AND I got some replies, yay! So on behalf of those responses I will start with the first one I got.
How to teach your children about God and to come into His Presence.
One of my FAVORITE subjects!!!
This has been the cry of my heart since the day I found out I was pregnant with my first son Daniel! Thirteen years forward and three children added to our clan, I am STILL learning this wonderful concept, of teaching my kids this very thing.
One thing that comes to mind is understanding that we don't have to TEACH them in order for them to understand that God is the right choice, but so that they can MEET Him and find out themselves that there is nothing greater! I believe God's goodness and love is so intense and so fulfilling that even our children cannot deny the incredible power of His love. I used to feel the pressure was all on me to "cover all the bases" of Christianity, and God's ways etc...and that pressure was horrible! I always felt like I was coming up short. I felt this constant nagging, of "not enough! not good enough! not enough." As I got that revelation suddenly my focus began to change.
"You mean all I need to do is encounter you more so that I can bring them in with me, Lord?"
I used to feel that I needed to have prayer every morning and read the Bible and have prayer with them, because that was how we were raised and so that must be what I need to do to. But every time I tried so hard to make it happen, the worse the prayer time would be. I had such an expectation they could all feel it, so they would immediately be reacting out of rebellion against my "law" and I would get so angry that no one was interested in God, supposedly ;). Sometimes, even my husband could feel my pressure, and I felt that He wasn't even supporting me in this (he just didn't want to do it religiously, as I didn't recognize I was doing). Ruslan would join us and be there but I could feel his lack of participation, and I just couldn't understand why, until later. I had an extremely high expectation on him too because of knowing how important it was for the kids to see that "Papa" also loved God and put Him first, and I was afraid if they saw any kind of lack of interest from their dad then they too would lack interest (I had a lot of rules in my head of how things should be).
I remember one hard morning when I decided I AM NOT GONNA BE RELIGIOUS, I just want us to see what God wants to do or to show us, we will just have a good ol time. Well for some reason the boys decided to be completely rambunctious and not quiet down or listen when I was trying to share something etc...and I broke! "I just want us to spend some time with GOD! What the Hell!!! I yelled (haha I laugh even as I write that). The moment those words came out I felt so embarrassed and it was so ironic linking the words hell together with God, how silly could I be!! What kind of picture was I giving them of God, a pissed mad Mama trying to force them into wanting to spend time with this "serious" God. No! That's not at all what I wanted! I got up and somewhat sarcastically said, "I am going to my room to spend time with God, it's fine if you guys don't want to, I do."
As I was in the room I could just feel the grace of God all over me, He was so fine with my blow out, He wasn't shocked at all, yeah He didn't like my kids being yelled at either, but He knew my heart for them and He was letting me know I needed to lighten up on MYSELF, so I would give more slack to my kids as well. I literally could feel the joy of the Lord pulsing through me as I began to laugh out loud, and I laughed and laughed and laughed. I could feel walls of religious rules falling down, walls of false responsibility crumbling down, walls of fear of messing up my kids, walls of shame breaking down, and He just kept washing over me with this incredible unconditional love. "Oh Lord, this is what I want my kids to experience, this is who You really are, Father help me to teach them about this!"
I could just hear him whispering, "Patience, just give it time, you focus on getting filled up with My love, so you have something to give them."
(I will continue on this subject more. I feel like little bits at a time is better than too much, so that you have time to ponder these things and apply if you like before getting more information to add to all the information that we get these days. :))
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