Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day Eleven - Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

Today is another day where I am going to share, word-for-word from the LG.  Today's encouragement comes from Laura Lee Groves, author of I'm Outnumbered! One Mom's Lessons in the Lively Art of Raising Boys.  

"Most of us are actually outnumbered by the males in our households -- for me, it's been five to one!  But it's not just the numbers that bring that sense of being overwhelmed.

For the mom of just one baby boy, a baby's demands can be overwhelming.

For the mom of a toddler boy, the constant busyness, discovery, and rebellion can wear mom down.

For the mom of a school age son, making sure he's keeping up with learning and homework can be taxing and worrisome.

For the mom of a middle schooler and teen boy -- oh, there's so much to worry about!

But you're not the first mom.  It's pretty clear to see we're in this thing called mothering together.  That means others feel -- or have felt -- that same need for peace.

What can you do to help yourself?

First, find someone to confide in -- someone who's walking same path, or someone who has walked it before.  My biggest support when my boys were small were two boy moms whose sons were a few years ahead of mine.  Find someone you can be honest with about the trials of mothering.

If at all possible, step away from the demands -- for an hour, for an evening, even just for fifteen minutes.  Let someone else hold the baby or chase the toddler for just a bit, and don't feel guilty.  If your son is school age, find a project or lesson that Dad or big brother or someone else can step into in your place, and take a break.  Or just step back and give your son a little more responsibility -- see if he can handle it.  We too often see ourselves as indispensable when our sons can do some things on their own.

You can help yourself by shifting your perspective as he grows.  We have to accept that they're growing and changing, and if we resist that, it just makes everything more difficult.  As he grows, do whatever you can to stay close to him.  When he hits those middle and teen years, keep him talking.  Do the one thing you know he enjoys doing, even if it's not your favorite.  Build a bridge, strengthen the connection between the two of you.  Stay close, but don't smother, and love unconditionally.  You've poured a lot into your son.  The proof of the pudding comes as he spreads his own wings and tries them.  Sometimes he has to take a hit before he realizes it's "real world time."  Don't save him every time, or he'll never be the man he was created to be.

And last -- but most importantly -- pray for him and for your relationship.  Pray for the faith to let go, for confidence in your and his abilities.

The One who made you and loves you is waiting to give help and comfort and peace all along the way.  No, He doesn't take away the pain and the frustration, but He gives us a way to deal with it.  When we begin to think about ourselves and our children in His scheme of things, we begin to think big.  We see ourselves and our children in His plan and our "today" perspective changes.

What's important for me to remember?

Motherhood (and fatherhood!) has many demands, but I can't do everything.  In fact, I don't need to.  There's One who knows better than I do and He's waiting to catch me and my son when we stumble.  He gives me grace to do all I can each day ... then His grace provides for all I didn't get to, as well.

It's hard to believe anyone loves my son more than i do.  But He does.

Knowing that, I can "Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.  Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always." (Psalm 104: 3,4)

And I can help myself to peace -- from above.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee."  - Isaiah 26:3 (ASV)

We can seek peace -- from above.  {deep breath}

Are you resting in God's peace?  If not, what is keeping you from doing so?  As you're praying today, ask God to show you ways that you're not trusting Him, perhaps for your sons, and release them to Him, choosing to trust in His plan for their lives.

Question for today:  When things don't go as you planned, and life seems to throw you a curve-ball, what is your heart's response?  Do you get angry with God?  Stop talking to him?  How do you train your children to handle such situations?

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