Sunday, July 22, 2012

This Weeks Parenting Practice: Repentance

"Many people spend their entire lives reacting to what they don't want to be instead of responding to the call of God on their lives..."
-Kriss Vallattonn

"For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he" 
-Proverbs 23:7

re·pent 1  (r-pnt)
v. re·pent·edre·pent·ingre·pents
1. To feel remorse, contrition, or self-reproach for what one has done or failed to do; be contrite.
2. To feel such regret for past conduct as to change one's mind regarding it: repented of intemperate behavior.
3. To make a change for the better as a result of remorse or contrition for one's sins.

This post is for the readers who profess that Jesus is Lord. But I think, as with all things having to do with Jesus, when you find Truth- it can be applied to any place you are on in your journey. 

I like to try to keep my posts short and sweet- there are a lot of awesome parenting blogs out there. So many, in fact, that it's overwhelming. I like simplicity. I just want to share little nuggets, that can help us be more intentional in our parenting journey.

So I will try to keep this brief. 

I hope.

The older my littles get, and the more children I have to juggle: the more I have struggled to keep all the balls in the air.
We strive to be a well disciplined, non-violent, gentle family. That wasn't so hard when I had as many hands as I did children. I mean I still screwed up- but it didn't seem impossible
(oh and GENTLE -BIBLICAL parenting  are not oxymoron's. We came to these convictions slowly, and perhaps some time I will share more on our journey. But if you are interested in God-honoring Biblical discipline check out THIS, and THIS, and some practical how-to's HERE.)

So...Me, right...

 Repent: to change one's mind. I am coming from a paradigm of non-violence. I feel that yelling (certain kinds), shaming, and hitting or physically hurting my children is abuse. It is wrong. It does not build them up, but tears them down. Studies have shown that our brains literally shut down when we feel threatened. The fight or flight mode kicks in and they retreat: they are not being taught any thing. Well they are, they are being taught "Mommy isn't safe."

I have struggled with yelling. It got pretty bad when I was super pregnant and felt physically unable to redirect and or keep my kids safe (I felt). It got worse when I had a newborn and a bored toddler and preschooler at each others throats. I was constantly being pulled between caring for the newborn and parenting my older (still very small) children. 

I yell when I am afraid. 

That kind of fear is a sin...It isn't love. 

Did you know that God see's me as perfect? I mean literally, my History is now His Story: Jesus. His death. His blood. His resurrection. I *am* and will forever be, a new creation! 

I still mess up. But I have a choice. I could choose to view my self as a sinner saved by grace "Well I am a sinner...I am a screw up, what more could I expect of myself?". Or as God see's me: A NEW CREATION: "I may mess up, but God doesn't see me as a screw up! He loves me. I can choose and with every choice: I can become more like Him!" 

Back to fear, really all of my parenting failures come from fear. I have feared they will grow up to be wild hooligans, so I over react. I have feared that they will get hurt or hurt each other so I have hurt them (which really does no one any good). I have feared a lot of stuff. 

Fear isn't love.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

That verse is the truth about ME (and YOU). I may not always *feel* like I am of sound mind (spend a day in my house, I promise you- crwwwaaaazy!). But I can't base truth off my experience. I am equipped. I believe the Bible is full of truth. That Jesus IS the truth. I have to base my mindset off of truth, not my experience. 

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love

So now I know the truth. And I can repent (change my mind..change how I think) and move forward. 

In this weeks Parenting Practice: Repentance What is repenting? Well let's get some thing straight. I always hated to hear about repentance. I always heard it as kind of grovelling. "Please, big angry God- forgive me! I am such a screw up!" 

That isn't truth. 

Repentance is NOT beating your self up. Repentance is changing your mind, changing how you tihnk. What does God say about me?

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
John 10:29

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:11-12

Whatever parenting philosophy and practices we can all admit to screwing up on occasion. And I bet most of us beat ourselves up over it.  We tell ourselves we are going to do better next time.

I am finding from experience: What we focus on, we get more of. 

If we focus on lies about ourselves (we will always be screw ups) we will not see growth.

That's a lot of what my goal in with our Encouragement Board was all about. It isn't to catch my children "being good". But to see when they are struggling and remind them the truth about themselves "You are loved"...

So this week: I am going to choose to look at the truth about myself. I am going to repent (CHANG MY MIND!) and parent from a place of repentance. I am loved. I can parent these precious ones. I am able. Becuase He is "more than enough" in me, I am more than enough for them. Even when my experience in the moment is any thing but "good": it doesn't change the truth. He is Lord, He saved me, I am His... I am able.  

 ...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Phillipians 1: 6

The girls won a prize after the kids Dash yesterday.

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