I've realized lately that I've been enjoying my kids in a sweet, peaceful way.
This season of young adults and teenagers
is filled with full schedules, hobbies and higher learning,
and its also filled with difficult discussions, mature thoughts
and thankfully much laughter and wit.
With five kids, three boys and two girls spanning eleven years,
for many years I sought to keep the peace , in my mind, heart and spirit,
but also in my home and between my children.
Many times it felt like it was so close,
only to fall apart in a tantrum ,
either of my children's or my own!
I know peace looks different for different people;
for some people it might look like curling up and reading a classic,
for others it looks like jumping from a plane and flying through open space.
For me, it looks like my kids honoring each persons' uniqueness
and engaging in understanding and appreciating them.
So I was asked,
"What has made the biggest difference in them
growing in their relationship over the years?"
I stayed up late contemplating that.
I felt like I was being asked for one key,
the key I wanted desperately as a young mom
to insure that my kids would love each other,
Back then, I read good books, I listened to wisdom,
I learned and searched,
I learned and searched,
and when I truly saw it , I tuned in.
This may sound trite but,
keep it simple.
Consistently do what is important.
Keep growing yourself in wisdom and knowledge.
Keep growing your marriage.
Keep nurturing , loving, caring for and training your children.
Embrace that our family is unique.
I have knowledge and an example of learning to offer my children .
If I invest time growing closer to my Maker,
my children experience the peace that comes from my spirit.
If I invest in growing closer to my husband,
my children experience better communication and the calmness of security.
If I feed, clean and clothe my children
they experience security in the physical sense.
( Dinner as a family is priceless, bath times were fun,
and laundry is actually a valuable part of nurturing.)
If I feed their minds with great literature,
clean their consciouses with understanding and forgiveness,
and clothe their spirits with truth,
I am giving them priceless treasure.
If I don't look to others for our identity,
but rest assured in the fact that we are individually
and collectively as a family divinely unique,
I give and receive peace.
If I nurture a grateful heart of my own,
and in them, we are content.
Doing it all consistently is a difficult task, but of great value.
Consistently correcting behavior of my own and of my children,
is never fun.
But looking to our hearts to weed out selfishness, laziness or pride
that instigated the bad behavior is very rewarding and life changing.
And then working through asking for forgiveness,
and giving forgiveness is both humbling and beautiful.
It is never a finished task because we are human, but it is a worthwhile one.
As the kids have gotten older, we have done several personality tests
and read and discussed different types of people at length.
I believe as we see ourselves and each other in the descriptions
and then read about how processing and problem solving work differently
for different people, we are better able to honor and appreciate our differences.
I think this is so important in fostering understanding of ourselves and others,
and encouraging honor and friendship.
I've tried to teach them to:
Truly listen, repeat back to be sure you hear the person correctly.
Consider the persons intentions or motivations.
Consider your own motivations.
Be willing to ask for forgiveness.
Be willing to forgive.
I hope these keys bless and encourage you!
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for in the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up". Galatians 6:9