Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fresh grace

Anxiety almost always fuels the need to control.
{Journey}

Am I a controlling person by nature? A little bossy from time to time, yes. Okay, a lot of the time (according to those around me most}. But, controlling? Hmmmm.... 

I find being in control of the situation instead of the person is more my speed. There's a difference,... right?
I like to plan. Move from point A to point B with ease. No distractions. No bumps in the road. Certainly no detours. I prefer things are smooth sailing. No waves. I'm not a "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda girl. I am not spontaneous. Quite boring is just what I am.

I would like to be more daring. Maybe not so boring.

 Don't get me wrong. I do like to have fun. And I'm not really picky about what kind of fun, just so it's scheduled. See, as I said... boring.

I've always been an organized, clean freak. But I wasn't always so boring. In fact, I was daring. Very daring, and a tad bit rebellious. If it was fun, I was in! "Back then" life was different. I'd say very different.

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Then, in a split second everything changed. The change has two names. They are fairly short in stature. Extremely loud. They need constant care. They get hungry. Thirsty. Tired. Ill. They whine. Cry. Ask me 365 zillion questions a day. They are messy with a capital M.E.S.S.Y. They climb on things. They fall off of things. They are non-stop.

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{dancin' with daddy}

 They have fears. They have hopes. They see things differently than me. Is that okay?

They most definitely do not work on a schedule.
They're not supposed to!

 I will learn to throw away the plans. Allow the chaos. Embrace the moment. Except the mistakes.
 Show more grace.

Grace-based families are homes where children are given:
1.  The freedom to be different
2.  The freedom to be vulnerable
3.  The freedom to be candid
4.  The freedom to make mistakes
{Grace Based Parenting

I don't want my children to grow up in a home where they aren't free to be who God uniquely created them to be. I don't want them to end up as "mini-me's". I simply want to make sure that our children's home reflects the spirit of the relationship that God maintains with us---grace.

In his book, Grace Based Parenting, Tim Kimmel writes, "I defend the right of children to be different if for no other reason than the fact that they are children. They are young. Their hearts stir with an almost miraculous sense of wonder. Their young minds run wild and sometimes perform crazy gauntlets within their imaginations. God made them this way." He tells a story of his son wanting to bleach his hair. Something that was frowned upon and thought of as devilish. "What will my friends think?" "Out of fear of what relatives, friends, or those in authority might say, many parents react to their children's tendencies to be different in a way that closes their spirits. When that happens, it can close their spirits for good."

At this point I don't think John Luke will be wanting to bleach his hair, but I can apply this same thought to his personality. Why do I consider his shyness as a negative characteristic? If he doesn't "jump in" there with the rest of the kids, maybe he's discerning...thinks things through. Or maybe he is shy. Who cares! He's 4!

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God cares more about the length of a child's character than He does about the length of his hair.....or his list of friends.....or........

There's room to be different. For everyone. Child or adult.

Grace. Isn't it refreshing? 

7 comments:

Christi said...

This is hard. :) Clay and I talk a lot about how we will be with our girls when they are teenagers. I hope we can parent with grace then! It's easier now because their choices don't have any real consequences. I mean, it doesn't really matter when Audrey wants to wear her raincoat and it's not raining. :D They will when they are older!

Nan said...

Grace, God's grace, so undeserved! Parenting with the same grace God demonstrated toward us. Yes, that is key! There is no doubt parenting is a learning process but thank the Lord children are resilient. They do rebound from our mistakes. Again, because God is so gracious. You can't get away from it can you? Beth your two are so different! I have four and as you know you are all very different. As they say,variety is the spice of life!!! Love you, Nan

Beth said...

Christi,
I agree, it is easier right now. I find myself wanting to fight the insignificant things even now(like the raincoat when it's not raining). So I'm working really hard to let go! He talks about a lot of the "teen years" issues. It's a great book if you like to read I def. reccommend it! I have thoroughly enjoyed it and it has opened my eyes to so many issues!

jeff and rebecca said...

I struggle way too much with what others think the "pastor's child" should be doing or saying or not doing or not saying. I have to stop and remember he is just a little boy. Wild at heart is a really good book about boys too and it will help you as a "girl" to better understand that God made them the way they are. Hard to believe huh??

Beth said...

Rebecca----I can see that that would be a struggle! I would probably worry about that if I were in your shoes. Will is a sweet boy and I know my John Luke sure loves him! WE miss y'all and love you!
I need to get that book. I could use a little more understanding of the opposite sex;)!

jeff and rebecca said...

I am sending that book to you. It really opened up my eyes not only about my son but also as to why my husband sometimes behaves the way he does. Bless his pea pickin heart, God made him that way!!!!!

Beth said...

Thank you Rebeccer! That's mighty sweet of you! I could use some help in the "understanding the man' department! Really, thank you. I'll def. read it!