It’s been a big adjustment at our house- our family has grown by one more. We welcomed our sweet little girl on April 26 and couldn’t be more excited. Her three big brothers are over the moon excited to have a little sister. We were blessed to have my in-laws come visit us for a couple weeks after babe was born. They really helped us to settle back in and get through the day-to-day things with ease. They’ve only been gone a couple of days, but juggling four has been interesting.
A couple weeks before babe was born, a friend of mine (who was also expecting shortly) asked what I found to be the hardest transition. Personally, I had found the transition to one baby the hardest for me. I really struggled with letting go of my professional career and settling into what I had seen as the mundane life of motherhood. The transition to two and eventually three children didn’t seem to phase me. I managed to successfully juggle a day home, my three children, the household and all else that it entailed. It seemed to just come natural to me. I felt like I had it all together for the most part.
Up until this point, I was juggling quite well, but adding that one extra ball has really thrown me off my rhythm. This has definitely been the hardest transition for me yet. Our mornings take exceptionally longer- breakfast by 9:30, changed by 10:30, lounge around until lunch because by this point we are late to go anywhere. Now, this doesn’t jive with my personality. I’d like to consider myself a prompt person, so when my timing and schedule is thrown off, often my attitude changes from sweet mom to strict drill sergeant. I start snapping and clapping my hands together to get everyone to hustle, consequences get thrown around in no time, my tone is one that means business. In the end, no one is happy and we all have a bad attitude.
Lately, we have been dealing with disobedience, talking back, not listening, and just poor choices over all with our boys. I’ve been having a difficult time with nipping the bad behaviour in the butt. I just couldn’t quite figure out what I was doing wrong. I was being consistent in my discipline, yet the behaviour simply continued. It took some time for me to realize the problem was me. I had been tuning out the Spirit convicting me on my lack of daily obedience to the Lord.
The other night, I sat down with pen and paper and wrote my heart out to the Lord. I was feeling overwhelmed and weighed down. I just needed to get everything off my heart and bring it before Him. It had been way too long since I came before Him broken. I had drifted for quite some time. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I opened up my prayer binder to see that my last entry was from September 2017. I didn’t think it had been that long since I met with Him one-on-one for our morning chat. To say I was long overdue is an understatement. I felt ashamed and embarrassed, but He held no grudges—He simply picked up where we left off. I knew then that I was the reason that there was no change in my children’s behaviour. I had stopped praying for the Lord to intercede on my behalf and for His fruit to shine through me. My attitude and response to my children was very evident of this. I realized my children’s attitudes and behaviours were fuelled by mine. I needed to change before I could see change in my children.
I realized I needed to put God into His rightful place as my top priority each day. Here’s some of the things I’ve done which have helped soften and change my heart, which in turn has affected my children’s hearts and attitudes too.
- God Time- I try to wake up an hour before the children and get into my Word, reflect on Scripture and pray aloud. This is a great time to listen intently to worship music and let the words truly permeate your heart.
- Praying for Me– This has proven to be one of the most impactful things I do. It may sound selfish, but we need prayer as much as the next person. I feel so guilty when I lose my temper on my children or overreact to a situation. What has helped me is turning to the Spirit to intervene on my behalf. I pray for the Spirit to work in and through me. Each morning I pray, “Lord, give me your love and peace today. Help me to be patient and kind, not selfish or easily provoked. Help me to endure in all these things.” This simple prayer has helped change my attitude throughout the day.
- On-Going Prayer- As mom’s, our days are often quite busy. Sometimes trying to find the time to sit and pray is nearly impossible. I’ve been really trying to pause for brief moments during my day and praying about whatever comes to mind or praying over any situation that I’m dealing with that has me overwhelmed or frustrated.
- Bible Studies- Engaging in a bible study with another Christian friend is a great way to stay in the Word, be encouraged, stay motivated and be held accountable. There are so many incredible and insightful Christian authors who have truly been given the gift to speak His truth into our lives. The Bible Studies are also a great way to mature in your faith and delve deeper into God’s Word.
I pray these words can be impactful in your life. I hope you will be encouraged to make time for God a top priority in your life. May He walk alongside you as your parent your children and give you the wisdom, guidance and instruction needed to train them up in the Lord. Remember, we cannot parent all on our own. We need His Spirit living in us to persevere and juggle it all.
SHARE: What are some ways you connect with God on a day-to-day basis? How has this helped you mature and grow more in Christ-likeness?