Friday, December 4, 2009

proud and humbled

along with all of the trying times as a mom, there are those moments when you reap reward for the tiny seeds you try and sew in your child day to day. that happened for me the other day with something kennedy said. i hate that i'm using an example with kennedy, because she's really not the perfect child, and blakely is capable of the same, it just so happened this way. anyway, k was pitching a huge fit on our way to the gym because of something silly. she didn't want to wear socks under her rain boots or something dumb...i don't remember exactly what it was even about. in a moment of annoyance, i told her if she didn't stop, she was going to spend the rest of the day in her room when we got home (not something i'm proud of saying because a.) that's the easy way out and really i just wanted to stick her there so i didn't have to deal with her. i didn't want to follow through with my whole spanking routine because i was late to my yoga class. yes, i was wrong., and b.) i never would have followed through with it so shouldn't have threatened it. besides, i knew it wouldn't work to tell her that because she knows i'm not going to leave her in her room for 12 hours or however ridiculously long she would have been there). when i finally got her calmed down enough to walk inside, we were waiting in line for me to check them into childcare, and she looked up at me and said "mommy, i'm sorry for pitching a fit". i was so proud of her that i didn't even know how to respond. the most important thing brett and i are trying to instill in k and b is repentance. good behavior is convenient and makes our life easier, and we do want them to learn to submit to authority, but at this age most kids aren't behaving well because they love mommy and daddy enough to want to be obedient to them. at least in my experience, most kids act "good" because they're either easy, laid back kids (usually kennedy) or they're scared not to. we want our kids to obey us out of love and respect, not because they're scared of our wrath. we are still in the (long) process of teaching k and b first-time obedience. maybe it shouldn't take 3 1/2 years, but k is a little stubborn and b is a lot stubborn, so who knows how much longer it will take. what we do believe in though is the power of repentance. sure, god loves our obedience and good works, but how many million times a day do we sin, even if just in our thoughts? if forgiveness of these sins comes through repentance, and it's a given that our kids will sin over and over and over again, what better to teach them than repentance? if i have to name a "big" sin that all of my "little" sins revolve around, it's pride. it has been my whole life, and i see bits of it in my kids, so i'm guessing there's a good chance they'll struggle with it too. repentance is hard for prideful people. i don't like admitting i'm wrong. it's easy for me in a blog to who knows what readers to admit little things i'm wrong about in parenting, but when real issues come up (mainly) with brett, there are few things i would rather not do than admit i'm wrong or say i'm sorry. in a grace-filled, gospel-centered relationship, nothing is more freeing though. i've never said "i'm sorry" to brett where he didn't offer forgiveness and i've never repented to the lord where he didn't embrace me with his love. i want to be able to model that grace to my kids by embracing them with love and offering total grace and forgiveness so they have a picture of how our heavenly father loves us as his children. i want them to see the power of repentance and practice it often. it was probably my proudest moment as a mom so far to see one of my kids repent to me without me telling her to.

on another note, as parenting always promises to do, a little while later i was humbled again. we haven't really known what to tell k and b about santa. we're not against them believing in him, but we didn't want this to be the focus of christmas. i loved the years i still believed and think it's a fun part of being a kid, but it's been a non-issue until this year. we took k and b to see the lights at lake lanier and santa was there and that was the first time they've seen him since they will actually remember it. kennedy sat on his lap and told him she wanted a ball, but blakely didn't want anywhere near him. she said she was scared he might bite her. i guess she thought he was some sort of animal. santa told k he was coming to our house and k told b and neither of them could go to sleep that night because they said they didn't want that man coming to our house. but what they did figure out is that you're supposed to ask santa for things, so they started talking about everything they wanted for christmas. i told them that christmas is not about getting things, but a time to celebrate jesus. the next day, i asked k and b what christmas was and blakely proudly announced that "it's when you ask jesus for lots of things". i guess i've failed in teaching the meaning of christmas. she's definitely got jesus and santa confused, but don't we all? brett and i have got a lot of teaching to do over the next 3 weeks.

have a good weekend! a picture of k and b at lake lanier (maybe i shouldn't post them riding illegally, but they had so much fun)...

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