Monday, July 9, 2012

Beginning Again

I am beginning again, today.  Since returning from vacation last week, I seem to have knocked over my parenting toolbox, and I can't find any of my tools!  I run out of patience an hour before the kids go to bed and I yell over things that I'm sure I have handled better at other times in my life - messy rooms, boys who hit each other and call names, laziness, bad attitudes, etc...  And, exercise has been non-existent, which may be directly correlated to the patience issue.

So, I am beginning again, today.  I "unfroze" my gym membership this morning and got my first good workout in over a month.  The consistent and motivated swimming that I started the summer with slowly ebbed away, as my boys kept hijacking my lap lane and requesting rides back and forth.  I love being with them at the pool, so I always said Yes, which is not conducive to gaining or maintaining any momentum.  So, I stopped. 

I will try to remember at the beginning of next summer that the last thing I should do is stop working out when my kids get out of school!  Duh. 

I have been trying to read Confessions by St. Augustine, but it seems so far from this summer-at-home-with-the-kids-place I'm in.  It was going great for a while, but I think I'll try again during Lent.  So, instead, I started reading another parenting book that I couldn't pass up for $1 at Half-Price Books, Parenting Your Child by the Spirit by Sally Hohnberger.  I'm hoping this is the equivalent of exercising my parenting with God muscles.  I know I've been more reactive than proactive and have not been as Christ-centered with my parenting as I should, so I am beginning again, today. 

I am going to make a list of the traits in each of my children that are not godly and what the opposite virtues are.  Then, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I am going to make a list of what their behavior would look like if the "weeds" were pulled out.  This will help me focus on replacing unwanted behavior with something better, not just eradicating it.  I realize that so much of their behavior is based on my own, so I am going to make a concerted effort to talk to God before I talk to my children, so they may guess correctly whose team I'm on - God's team.  I am beginning again, today.
Dear God, thank you for my children and for gym memberships.  Thank you for being our Father and for giving us detailed instructions on childrearing in Your Word.  Thank you for so many chances to begin again.  Please help me be the mother to my boys that You intended, so that they may reach their full potential in You.  Please bless all parents with wisdom, patience and kindness for their children, as our love is supposed to reflect Your love.  Amen.

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