Friday, February 29, 2008

Lifting My Eyes

Wow - sweet friends, you have again blessed me with your words of wisdom and encouragement. As I read through the comments yesterday, I was challenged, humbled, convicted and encouraged. Tears fell as I read through your words - thank you for sharing of yourselves with me.

At one point yesterday I was so discouraged and felt so defeated. God brought this idea to mind -

"Is what you are feeling conviction or condemnation?"

I'm still processing and sorting all of this out, but I know that I've felt some of both. God is good and He will show us the way, if it were easy - I would not rely on His strength.

Here are some initial thoughts:

Thanks to my friend, Anissa, who sent, "A Psalm for the Disrespected Mom!"
"I lift my eyes to You,
O God enthroned in Heaven.
We keep looking to the Lord our God for His mercy,
just as servants keep their eyes on their master,
as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy,
for we have had our fill of contempt.
We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud
and the contempt of the arrogant."
~ Psalm 123

I was challenged by the thought that a couple of you pointed out that Emily and Rachel may not be disrespecting me. But at their tender age, I may be provoking them to wrath. Oh, how sad this makes me to even consider.

I was challenged also by Leanne to consider not raising my children to respect me but to train them to be "respectful, loving and godly!" What a beautiful reminder of our true goal, thank you!

I was encouraged by many of you that I am not the only one facing these struggles and knowing we are all in it together somehow helps!

I spent more time considering Megan's words than any other I think. She shared that when facing a similar stage in life - she realized her alone time was becoming an idol. Ouch. I was hit with the realization that I've been so concerned about what a frustration and inconvenience this situation is to ME and to what I want, that I haven't been focusing on what would be best for my children or our family as a whole. Lord, please forgive me for my selfish pride.

Rachel, thank you for the reminder, "God is using these challenges in mothering for his glory and your good, and the good of your children." Amen - I needed to hear this.

Thank you for sharing from your own trials, pointing me to Scripture and for all of the practical suggestions with some funny stories thrown in too! I'll be thanking God for each of you today and lifting my eyes beyond myself to look to Him!

On a fun note - guess who is coming to our home this afternoon? Yeah - we are so excited!


Anonymous said...

Have a great time together with Carrie! She is in my thoughts and prayers today as she travels and I will be thinking of both of you in the days ahead as you spend time together. :)

Please don't be too hard on yourself as a mom -- you are doing a great job! I think considering time for yourself as an idol is too strong! It is important to have time to yourself -- you'll be a better mom for it -- which will make that time a benefit to your children and to your family as a whole.

When I think back to all the things I did "wrong" as a mom and wish I could have a "do-over" for -- I look at you and Carrie and thank God for His grace and mercy in using my efforts (imperfect as they often were) to raise two such wonderful daughters!

Be encouraged, dear daughter -- you are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

I love you! Mom

MommySecrets said...

I'm so glad you summarized these comments into a new post - otherwise I wouldn't have seen them. I think every mom faces similar battles, so it's really good to read encouraging words, challenging exhortations, and scriptural truth from other godly moms. Thanks!

For my battles, I always come back to the fact that God gives me these trials so that I won't be foolish enough to think I can be a good mom on my own. I need HIM. I desperately need his strength, patience and wisdom. And my children's behavior helps keep me dependent on him. So like Paul, I have to remind myself to give thanks for the trials.

Wow, my comment got long - oops!

MommySecrets said...

One more thought - I once read in the devotional "Jesus Calling", that God promises to give us strength for every minute - not everyday. So let's all remember to lean on him for grace and wisdom to handle each little situation, instead of demanding a whole day's worth of strength at once.

Prairie Chick said...

God bless you. Your heart is so supple before the Lord. He will surely bless you.

Leanne said...

I am so honored to be included in your reading list...
This parenting business can be hard at times...and you are going through a huge transition period with the new baby.
Don't lose heart!
Let us know what you try... I think that no "one thing" works for everyone, so its nice to see what other people do!

Katy said...

I am so glad the comments have helped you! You are very encouraging to me in all your posts and your daily walk with God! :) I will go and read the comments people left you on that post as well so I may get some help and encouragment for my situation with my kids as well!!! Thank you for posting about it! xoxo

Anonymous said...

I agree with your mother. You do need time for your self. Everyone gave such good comments on this. Even I who no longer has children napping. I Was inspired by the comments made by every one.

Have a good visit with your sweet sister.

Kristin said...

One other thought that I have been dwelling on this week... I'm meeting with a very godly older woman in our church and when she came this week, I was sharing my own parenting frustrations right now. She shared a perspective that I really appreciated. She said that we need to give our hours of the day to the Lord every day as His to do with as He pleases. So if He then chooses to use my hours to break up sibling conflicts all day (our current battle!), then I need to be content with that as His plan for my day! That has helped me tremendously in the frustrations of my days this week. I pray that you might find some encouragement from that as well!

Have a great time with Carrie! I was praying for both of you this morning as she travels and then as you work through these things.


Anonymous said...

Dear Monica:

AMEN to everything your Mom said.
(Except I have THREE wonderful daughters! And TWO wonderful granddaughters I might add.)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Keep up your good work, Honey. You are doing a GREAT job.

Love you, Grandma

Ruth said...

I didn't have a chance to post a comment yesterday but it looks like you received some wonderful advice. My daughter always fought naptimes and I have some pictures just like yours. Sometimes, she would take all the books off her bookshelf and place them in her bed with her. One thing I did was make her clean up the messes.
This too will pass. I know that quiet time is so precious to you right now. It is a time to regroup. The stories on tape are a great idea.
Don't be too hard on yourself. Just lean on the Lord, He will guide you.

Anonymous said...

I have two little girls and sometimes I think they are not being rebellious but just the little babes that they are. Their attention span at this age is 2-3 min. and I think sometimes they just forget what's going on and start to play. I'm trying to figure all this out too, what is rebellion and needs discipline and what is just being a child. Perhaps I expect too much sometimes. Just like I want God to be patient with me as I'm learning in my Christian walk I pray I would be patient with them.

Steve & Molly said...

Isn't it wonderful how God encourages us through our sisters in the faith? I'm glad He has given you a renewed perspective. We all need that encouragement along the way. Now, enjoy being encouraged by your real life sis!! Have fun!

Anonymous said...

After I had my 3rd baby, with the older 2 in K and 2nd grade, when they got home, we ALL went to MY bed and took a nap together. I would read books to the older ones and then we slept. Sometimes when hubby got home, we 4 would all be asleep together. They were allowed to read if they liked, but they had to be quiet and stay nearby. It did not hurt them. And we all kind of missed it when those days were gone. But that is just what an old grandma did years ago, when you too were a child. I found it took an awful lot of rest after the 3rd one arrives!! Nursing is best for mom and child, but you have to eat well, drink plenty and most of all, REST!!! I had one older child on each side of me and switched sides nursing, so each child had some snuggle time with mom too.

Anonymous said...

I have recently discovered your and Carrie's blogs. Can't get enough of your wonderful ideas on being a wife, mother, daughter, etc. who is pleasing to God. And you make it look fun. Enjoy your weekend together, ladies.

Homeschool Housewife said...

I read your post and had no advice, I have been there. Disrespect is so hard and I have been missing the peaceful times in my life lately. It seems like there is so much chaos.

But what a huge blessing the advice others gave you for me. I think as moms we go through this and boy the enemy tempts us to indulge ourselves, forget our priorities. But if you can have someone to remind you, encourage you, remind you to turn away from yourself and back to God, then you are blessed indeed.

Thanks for the post.

Madonna said...

I have been slowly reading over your blog the past few days and I think your children are wonderfully blessed to have you as a mother. This topic brings to mind a book I just finished called Seasons under Heaven by Beverly LaHaye and Terri Blackstock. If you have the book read over pages 299 and 300 esp. Brenda in the book refers to how are children are like the talents in the parables. How we can either hide them in the ground (by ignoring them, not meeting their spiritual needs etc) or investing them. Investing them means raising them to be godly humans and being able to look God in the eye and say I did my best to raise them the way you would have wanted me to. Its a pretty good book about a variety of women in differnt life situations.