Thursday, February 7, 2008

Where I'm At. . .parenting

I must admit, this week hasn't been the easiest in the parenting realm. Each of my 3 have presented their own issues this week. I know this is nothing for my big-family friends for whom just having 3 around would feel like a piece of cake! In fact, I thought maybe I'd start pretending that I have 5 and 2 are just busy at any given time so that 3 feels easier! PS: that doesn't really work, but it does make me laugh and remember perspective a bit!

Gracie is entering the 2 year old phase. You know. . the one where you have to discipline 100 times a day for little things like touching the dog dish and banging her fork on the table. Not hard, unless you have 2 other kids running around!

Davis is still attaching. At least, I think that's his deal. He wants to have some part of his body touching some part of mine at all times. He'll even lay his face on my feet! This is so cute when you think of how he didn't like me at first and he's falling in love with his mama. However, I don't always think of it that way and sometimes. . . .like when I'm desparately trying to sleep. . .it's not so cute!

Brayden is 3 1/2. . .need I say more? Right now we are working on obedience the first time, without challenge, delay or excuse (thanks to Tedd Tripp!) His stuff is just defiance and attitude related.

Combined, some days are driving me crazy! Yesterday, I called both Katy and Erin almost in tears. While the AT&T guy was here (a whole other story about trying to stay in my home with 3 kids for 14 hours waiting on them. . .why can't they make actual appts? If surgeons can, why can't repair men?) Davis and Brayden refused to take their naps. They instead destroyed their room and came out 100 times. I was tired and did not make the right choice, I let it slide. Finally, after asking them multiple times to at least stay in their rooms, I went in to discover them JUST ABOUT to get into Davis' cocoa butter lotion (which, if you don't have African kids, is not like regular lotion. . more like greasy gunk). I quickly put a stop to that and went to answer the AT&T guy again. Well, when I went back into their room 5 minutes later, they had opened the lotion again and were COVERED! I mean, I could barely pick Davis up he was like a greased pig! AND, we were to leave for dinner in 10 minutes to meet my parents! Aaagh!!!

I was so angry. I find I lose my cool and then flip out on the inside. I start thinking, "I can't handle this! I need a break" Kind of a hyperventilation of the spirit! I even had a hard time when one of the kids reached for my hand at the restaurant. I was still mad. Immediately, the Lord convicted me. I was amazed. How can the Lord not withhold His love from me when I am so ugly? And yet, He doesn't! He disciplines, for sure. But is able to immediately offer His heart to me.


Thankfully, I serve a faithful and gracious God! This morning, Erin emailed me this verse:
"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction." 2 Timothy 4: 1-2

That was the culmination of 2 things. First, Shepherding a Child's Heart. The best book on parenting I've ever read. God was using his words last night to convict my heart about being consistent in my discipline. The kids' offenses are about disobedience to God first. Who am I to decide to let them go? I need to be consistent for their hearts' sake!

Secondly, I recently read on a blog (which I can't give credit to b/c my laptop is broken so I'm using my bedroom computer. aagh!) a woman's prayer for her kids. She said that when she would take stock of her kids and what they needed to learn or even areas they needed to grow, it was overwhelming. She decided to ask the Lord for direction more specifically. So, she prayed, "Lord, reveal to me what __________ needs to learn or focus on right now?" This could be a character trait, a skill or even a gift that needs encouraging. Then, she would focus and look for ways to work on that specific thing with that child for a few days or until the Lord released her.

Ok, back to the verse. I am going to memorize this one for parenting! YES, I need to work on consistency in correction for disobedience. I also need to temper that with encouragement. Then, I need to use "careful instruction". This has helped me today to be more focused. When I'm looking for ways to encourage and correct a specific area, I feel more free. Not to let them run wild in others, but to focus my efforts. That and I realized anew that I need the Lord's constant help!

Hey, thanks for listening! Sometimes, I need to write out these lessons to cement them more in my brain! I'm also ready to journal a "where I'm at. . .marriage" and "where I'm at. . .Africa" and "where I'm at. . .work/ministry"! I think it's important to be always learning and then, for me at least, sharing that so I stay accountable! God's definitely teaching me in lots of different areas!! help! j/k it's great. I want to be more like Jesus next year. . .to be unrecognizable from who I am now!


Anonymous said...

You are doing you know how many moms think of these things after they've had grandchildren??!!! Love, Denise

Lisa said...

Parenting is the hardest job ever and we always seem to be so hard on ourselves. We are works in progress and so are our kids. So glad God's grace and mercy are new every morning! :)
You are a great mommy, just ask your kiddos, I'm sure they would agree.
Love your transparency!!!

steffany said...

After over 12 years of parenting I still have days like that. I love how you want to grow and learn, that right there shows what a wonderful parent you are.

Love the new blog! way cute.

Missy said...

I agree with Denise, you're doing great. I was just composing a post, inspired by Denise, about taking the easy way and letting things slide instead of training with consistency for the long term results.

The book I have listed on my blog, Watchmen on the Walls is a wonderful help for praying character into your child. I think you would love it.

Hang in there mamma. I wish I was closer, I'd take you out for a cheeseburger :o)

Love you,

Alward Family said...

Aaaah, it was one of those days...I feel for you girlfriend! I'm telling you, three is the worst year! Four and on gets much easier. I remember instilling "Mommy Boot Camp" with Tristan and it took 2 wasn't pretty but it worked.

Oh, and the body kids and a friend all decided to lube themselves in Tristan's body butter and Skylar's sheets are still stained from that experience after multiple washings. That is some messy stuff.

Here's to a better day!


jeff & katie said...

Brandi...I can so learn from your openness on your blog. Can I just say I can so understand!!! I have seen a side of myself I never knew existed since becoming a new mother--not a good one that is..It was mainly due to being incredibly sick and with my husband working still in Africa. It was so sad...Osobie even prayed at the lunch table that "mama would be happy!" UGH!! I was the gumpiest mother for 2 weeks!! PARENTING is so hard. BUT, God is so gracious and teaches us along the way eh?
love ya
oh, and now I know to blame you for tagging me!!! I was about to call Laurie until I saw your post!!
Katie B....wierd things will be my next post!

amber said...

I am so there with you.

I am glad there are others in this boat. Our kids definitely benefit from the encouragement and wisdom we glean from each other! (Thank God! Some days my kids need all the help I can get! Ha!)

Love ya,

Anonymous said...

The fact that you are thinking, talking, praying about these things shows what a great parent you are-like Denise said some people aren't even aware of it til way after their kids are grown!
Consistency is an area I need to work on as well, though as you mmentioned when you have more than 1 child it gets hard-you're trying to calmly work through a situation with 1 and 2,3,4 others are then having their situations ALL AT ONCE!

Julie L.

the albertsons said...

Brandi! I totally completely can relate to you AND agree with everything you wrote. It can be so hard some days... but with great guidance (based on scripture!) and great friends, we can do this parenting thing. It's so good to be honest so we moms can help one another! I'll be praying for you (pray for me, too :).
(ps- got your email- sorry i haven't responded- will do that soon- when i have time?!?!?)

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Great post! It reminds me of my life only a couple years ago. I still have those days, they are just fewer and farther between. Although, I did have Avery stab Morgan in the back of the neck with a pencil the other day. Doesn't that sound like a rationale and mature thing for my 7 year old to do? Don't worry, she had a good reason.... Morgan was being mean.
Hang in there.
It's a long, hard road but the rewards are great!!

jena said...

Hebrews 12:11

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful. Yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

This verse seems to be needed with everything lately in my life. I pray it can encourage you. Funny thing is I kept repeating it in regards to my children. I must admit when I turned it on myself... things really started a changin!