As parents a very real part of our role is to protect our children. We hold their hands when crossing roads until they have safely learnt to do it themselves. We watch the things they have access to until they can be trusted not to put little toys in their mouths. This comes naturally, but is this enough? Are we protecting them from unseen dangers?
That morning after my beautiful daughter was born was incredible. I wish I could have boxed up those feelings of pure joy and kept them so I could relive that moment again and again. Just the three of us, no demands, no interruptions; a chance to simply delight in our new baby girl. I was reminded then just how important it is to catch each precious moment. To stop and breathe in those treasures in what can so often be a whirlwind of busyness.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been having driving lessons. It would be safe to say that with a 6 month baby it’s been a challenge fitting this in in my current exhausted state but worthwhile nonetheless. But along with the joys of sleep deprivation comes heightened emotions and nearly sobbing in front of my driving instructor not once but twice! Well everything can be a lesson and through it here’s what I learnt about disciplining my son.
A few years ago I went through something really tough. Every time I prayed asking God for wisdom on how to walk through this difficult season He would remind me of His promises. Promises of things changing and me seeing victory in my situation and yet when I asked Him how to walk through to this victory one word would come back to me time after time – worship.
If you’ve had a difficult first labour or hard first few months with a newborn you will understand what I mean when I say the thought of another baby can be slightly traumatic. So how do you prepare yourself to do it again and avoid getting into a place of fear surrounding the next birth?
Ever had one of those days when you feel totally overwhelmed by your child’s behaviour? You feel like you’ve given all you can, encouraged and disciplined but they still behave badly. A tantrum on the way to playschool so getting out the door and arriving by 9am is near on impossible. A meltdown at bedtime so the 7pm deadline goes out the window… making their behaviour the next morning even worse! What’s behind it all? Is it us, are we missing something? Are we being too strict or too soft? So often we second guess ourselves and our actions, but what if they are really just trying to tell us something?
These were words I found myself thinking a few weeks back when I was in hospital. I was 39 weeks pregnant. I’d prayed over so many things surrounding my second labour and God had given me a very definite faith for what it would look like. But here I was, being told I may need to stay in hospital until the baby comes (potentially two weeks). Not being with my son at home, labour being induced, perhaps a caesarean section. Nothing I had been in faith for. God this wasn’t meant to happen.
The other morning I woke up and immediately things were weighing on my mind, challenges that I constantly tell God about and pray over.
I was running late and so had less time than I wanted to spend reading the Bible before my son woke up. I was desperate to really receive revelation from God and so I prayed God would speak to me in just those few minutes.
I find this whole parenting job fascinating. Some days it’s a breeze, our children respond instantly to our reminders and warnings about behaviour. They are fun and loving and it all just feels easy, like we’re finally getting on top of this parenting thing. And then other days… well you feel like it’s an endless cycle of setting boundaries and them being crossed, crying out to God for wisdom, phoning friends for advice, constant battles with a toddler that could so easily be resolved if they just listened the first time and by about 3pm you’re desperate for your husband to come through the door.
I’ve been thinking about the importance of our words recently. It’s something I’ve felt challenged about for a long time and over the last week I’ve started noticing more and more reference to this in the Bible. We all know what we say is important, but just how much do our words affect? Here’s why I think our words literally have the power to change our life.