Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chapter 3 - Accept Your Children

I am joining a wonderful group of ladies and reading through How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids by Rachael Carmen. This past week we read Chapter 3, Accept Your Children.

Accept your children sounds easy right? Well it's not for me, at least not all the time.  Accepting my kids is something I definitely struggle with. And sadly it shouldn't be, because as a child I often felt unaccepted at school and at home. So I know how it feels, how it hurts and how it can ruin your self esteem. Rachel says that, "Genuine acceptance of our kids means a radical change of perspective - a paradigm shift. What is a paradigm shift? Well since I looked it up to get the exact definition I will share it with you. A paradigm shift is a change from one way of thinking to another. It's a revolution, a transformation, a sort of metamorphosis. It does not happen, but rather is driven by agents of change. In the case of our children, "It means seeing our children as gifts from the hand of the living God."

I have written before about how my daughter personality and character is a lot like mine she is my clone, my mini me. I think that is why we butt heads so much and why I am constantly trying to change her personality and character. I think about how hard it was for me growing up and since she is so much like me I don't want her to have to go through any of the things I did. She is fidgety just like me (my nick name used to be worm). She is artistic just like me. She has some OCD habits just like me. She is high strung just like me. She loves animals just like me. She is a caring and compassionate just like me. She has her own fashion sense just like me. She doesn't care what others think just like me. She hates to be teased just like me. She is a planner just like me. She is an auditory/visual learner just like me.

My son on the other hand is very laid back and a lot like my husband, brother and grandfather. He likes to build with blocks, cardboard boxes, Legos, anything really. He loves to play by himself. He teases everyone he comes in contact with. He puts everything in his mouth. He likes to pick at things like paint on the wall, strings on a blanket, his nails/toenails, you name it. He is a kinesthetic learner. 

Two completely different kids with different learning styles, personalities and characters. Rachel says that "When we attempt to rewire our children, we are actually rejecting them, even if we do not verbalize it." WOW, that hit me like a ton of bricks after I read it. One thing I hated growing up and promised myself I would never do to my kids was compare them to others or try to make them into something they are not. And here I am trying to change my daughter. Well NOT any more!!!

The last 12 days have been very interesting, exciting and stressful. As many of you may already know I was watching my friends two kids for 9 days while she was in the hospital recuperating from surgery. Things were quite CRAZY around here. I spent several days driving to and from speech/occupational therapy appointments, the hospital and the store. Also during those 9 days there was one night that I had seven kids sleeping over because of Gwyns birthday party. And there was another day that I watched a  friends two girls (plus the four I already had in my care) while she went to have lunch with a friend. So when Saturday came I was tired and a little stressed. I don't think I have ever had so many kids in and out of my home before.

BUT......something AMAZING happened during those 9 days. My HEART grew by leaps and bounds towards my husband and my children. God spoke to us all through helping out a friend. I realized how very blessed I was to have such wonderful children. Children who knew their mother needed assistance. Children who knew their mother needed them to be on their best behavior. Children who care deeply about others. Children who are very self sufficient. Children who love to learn. Children who don't require special diets or have special needs. And I realized how amazing the man I fell in love with 12 yrs ago really is. He is always there for us and takes such good care of us. He supports me in everything I do and the decisions I make.He encourages the kids to follow their dreams. He never puts me down. Rachel says that "Our journey with our kids is not just about disciplining and training them. It is about our discipline and training." I have come to realize the last 12 days that this is indeed true. Well this momma has been disciplined and trained the last week and a half. And a paradigm shift has taken place!

These last several days I have also witnessed Gwyn not only turn a year older but grow her character. I am amazed at how caring and compassionate she is for a 6 yr old. And her behavior has been impeccable. I haven't YELLED at the kids in 12 days! Rachel says, "Well-disciplined children are not only prepared for God's call and work in their lives, but they are also enjoyable to spend time with," and boy is that the truth. She doesn't need me to change her. I am the one that needs to change. With the help of God I need to accept her and her brother and build them up. I need to pray like Rachel did for Him to reveal His plan and purpose for their lives so I can raise them "in the way [they] should go" (Proverbs 22:6)so they can one day fulfill what He had planned for them.

Rachael, ended the chapter with some questions called, "Heart Check-up"--Page 119. I have actually answered these questions above throughout my post.

What are some ways you have experienced rejection in your own life? (Remember, all of these come from the father of lies!)

2. Are there characteristics of your children you find difficult to accept? If so what are they? Pray about these specifically and ask to see God's perspective about these areas of your children's lives.

3. Area there things about your children you're personally embarrassed about? If so, what are they? Pray about these specifically and ask to see God's perspective about these areas of your children's lives.  For me it is mostly the disobedience and talking back that embarrass me.

Favorite quote(s): 
-Pg 109 "Is the character flaw you see in your child an imitation of our own sinfulness?"
-Pg 111 "It means accepting and enjoying each one a as a providential gift and blessing from a Holy God, trusting that He will continue the good work He began by sending them to you and carry it through to completion (Philippians 1:6).
-Pg 113 "When parenting seems hard or downright impossible, and you're certain you've messed things up beyond repair, don't forget that you serve the great Redeemer and all of that stuff in your life that you  regard as junk can and will be used by God for good (Romans 8:28).
-Pg 115 " God is using this opportunity not just to prepare my children for His calling, but also to break me, mold me, and use me as an instrument of righteousness for His name's sake-if I will let Him."
-Pg 116 "I love you. These are the words by which children first begin to build trust. These are the words that best communicate a parents' acceptance of the child. But as important as those three words are, there are three words that are more important: God loves you."

Do you accept your children? I cannot wait to read everyone's posts. Thanks for stopping by.


Unknown said...

I'm so proud of you! You blessed your friend and you are relaxing and learning to let your children be themselves! What a week :)

Heather said...

What an experience!! This sounds like such a hard time (so many kids) and also such a blessing! I am glad for you! Your children sound wonderful:)

Eileen Marie Miller said...

Congratulations on your paradigm shift! Your children are first hand witnesses to the help you've given to your friend in need.

Sunliz said...

I love it! God is so comical sometimes! I mean, just think, would you have thought you had time to learn all that in the midst of all those kids? =)

Amanda @ The Pelsers said...

Josh jokes that Jonathan is a lot like me. And he is, for good and bad. It's so frustrating though when I see my bad habits in him.

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