Sunday, October 28, 2012

The good, the bad, and the really ugly

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I'm not a fan of 'airing your dirty laundry' but I am a fan of living an authentic life.  And I do think there is a fine line between the two.  As I've said so many times, blogging has been such a blessing to me.  God has used other blogs to teach me and encourage me on numerous occasions.  And I know that my blog is really nothing to so many and that's okay with me.  I enjoy writing.  It gives me a sort of peace.  Like journaling.  And if just one person can be touched as much as I have been blessed, it's worth it all.

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I have had a few really big, more like huge, wake-up calls lately.  Actually I know it was more like a word from the Lord instead of just a 'wake-up call'.  And here is where that fine line between airing my dirty laundry and being real comes into play.  But in this case, I choose to be honest and transparent because just maybe my story can bless someone else.   

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I yell.   When I get upset or frustrated or overwhelmed, I yell.  (I know this will come as a surprise to some ;-)  My excuse has always been that I am stressed, I have a strong-willed child and that my children need to know what real-life is all about.  People argue.  People yell.  People get mad.  I argue with my husband in front of the kids. {against his wishes.} I excuse it by thinking that they need to know that arguing and fighting are part of life.  {And to a healthy extent, I still believe that}. But the key is healthy fighting. 

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This past week I had a dagger put to my heart.  The kids had been fighting and John asked them, "Why do y'all have to fight and yell at each other?  Why can't you just get along?"  And John Luke answered, "Like you and mama do?" And in that moment God said very clearly, "You are not modeling to your children Christ-like behavior." 

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My 3 year old has several babies.  And trust me, she makes them walk a straight line.  Recently I've overheard her yelling at them at the top of her lungs.  She talks to them in a very hateful tone.  And she means what she says!  I've also noticed how much my kids yell at each other.  They speak so snappy and hateful to one another and sometimes even to me and others.  I find myself yelling at them to stop yelling!

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I can humbly testify that God has opened mine eyes!   I'm so thankful that I serve a God of second and third chances and that He pours out His grace upon me!!

John and I love each other dearly and thankfully we have a good relationship with one another, but we do have our "moments", and what I have seen is that the way I handle myself in those moments is what is making the deepest impression on my children.

Eighty percent of children's personalities are formed in the first six years of their life.  And 80-90% of their moral development as well as the bond and connection they develop with those people around them most, happens in their first six years of life.

That is astounding to me!!! That is exactly why I do what I do day in and day out.  When I read that statistic, I was even more positive that what I do really does matter.  And that's why my influence {good or bad} is so crucial.

Our children follow our lead.  And the truth is, they see and hear everything.  More than we think.

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I believe as a mother, I have the greatest influence in my children's lives. {At least for right now.}  So I asked myself,  "What kind of person am I shaping my child to be?"  Discipline and discipleship go hand-in-hand.  The way we discipline our children is a form of discipleship.  And I'll be honest, I'm not doing such a stand-up job.  It's like with any relationship....talk is cheap.  "Actions speak louder than words."  I can tell my children how to act and react.  How to love and cherish.  How to respect and honor.  I can recite our verse "be kind to one another, and love one another" a thousand times over, but my actions are their greatest teacher.  Christ took the time to teach his disciples, but He more often led by example.  The example of His own life.

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Jesus taught His people how to love others by loving others.
Jesus taught His people how to serve others by serving others.
Jesus taught His people how to give unselfishly by giving unselfishly, even unto death.
Jesus taught His people how to accept the outcast by accepting the outcast.
Jesus taught His people how to forgive by forgiving us and dying for us.


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"The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God's sight." ~ I Peter 3:4


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What has God spoken to your heart about lately?  What do you do to ensure your children are being molded into the person God created them to be?

Blessings to you!






6 comments:

Amy said...

Beth I cannot tell you enough how much your blog encourages me and blesses me! Everytime I read it I am like "I CAN SO RELATE TO HER!" and this post is NO EXCEPTION! Thank you so much for being honest and transparent because in that you have opened my eyes to look at my own actions and I have been convicted. I am very much a yeller too, and I have always just excused it with I am too stressed and too overwhelmed. Corey continues to tell me that Amos is noticing. Those statistics are astonishing. I am encouraged to set a better example and show love and find better ways to handle "my stress". Thanks again!
Amy Bryan

Robin said...

Sister, I've told you many times before, I love your blog! Not as much as I love you though!! Your transparency is sooo beautiful to me!

Beth said...

Y'all don't know how much your encouragement means to me! Love you both and thank you! :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't believe you can yell!!! I've heard your sweet little soft voice. If you want to hear yelling you should come hear me! The Lord convicts me of the same thing! Enjoyed this post as always. Love to read your blog! Love you!
Dawn

The Starr Family said...

Beth... I had to compose myself a bit after this post. I've been on a blog break and just wanted to pop in, instead the Lord was using your words to reach me specifically and DIRECTLY.

With great clarity, you have laid out a recent struggle in our home. As my children age and develop, yelling has become more frequent. Its heartbreaking and disappointing... and embarrassing. I'm so grateful you had the discipline and courage to expose it, to take off the mask at the chance of blessing another. And I am SO grateful that our Redeemer, in fact REDEEMS US!

Beth said...

Oh Kate!! That blesses me to know you are blessed! So thankful for God's grace! I pray you and your family has a very Happy Thanksgiving :-)