Monday, May 13, 2013
Filling My Cup: Mom Heart Conference Part Two
It's been awhile since I wrote my first post on the wonderful experience I had at the Mom Heart Conference in February. Honestly, I took away so much that I wasn't sure how I could possible put it all into words.
I know without a doubt that God has used Sally Clarkson, the speaker, author and blogger on motherhood to speak directly to my heart. In the last year or so that I have had her mentoring voice in my life, I have been changed in how I parent my children. And friends, I am seeing the fruit and it is so good!
Now that it's been a few months, I am going to share with you some knowledge that I took away from the conference and how I've implemented it into my mothering.
One of the things that first jumped out at me was when Sally talked about treating others the way that you want to be treated and how this applied to your kids. How do you treat your friends when they come over? You clean the house for them, encourage them, light a candle and offer them tea. Are you encouraging your kids in the same way? I've taken this to heart and really tried to go beyond just meeting their needs, but really trying to speak their love language and filling them up daily as a friend might fill me up.
I've always loved being a mom and homemaker. I do feel like it is my calling. But, I now realize even more that there is no higher calling or service to God than loving my children well. I guess this acknowledgment has opened my eyes to being more intentional and not letting time slip away. I used to go to bed at night at times feeling regretful that I hadn't read with the kids or spent enough time with them. Although I was with them physically, I wasn't always mentally present.
Ironically, one thing that has helped me be more present with my kids is carving time out during each day for me to sit and drink some tea and read a book. I also spend time first thing in the morning doing a devotional and reading a couple of blogs that I find encouraging, like I Take Joy and even playing around on Facebook. This has allowed me time to fill my own cup and then I can be more present with my kids when they need me. I haven't gone to bed with that regretful feeling at all lately.
Sally pointed out something that I really needed to hear. She said that when a child is misbehaving we need to look at their needs first. Are they hungry or sleepy? What is the need behind the behavior. Even though my kids are getting bigger, they can both melt down when they are hungry or tired. Hey, I can too, my hubby will attest to that, ha! So, instead of reacting to that behavior, address their need and understand that is the cause of the behavior.
Probably one of the biggest revelations that I've had is fully understanding the fallen nature of humans and that none of us are perfect. I know I'm not, that's why we all need Jesus! I realized over the last few months that I had unrealistic expectations on my first child. I compared her to older children on their best day and that's just not fair. I needed to understand her capacity to reach her heart. If I am constantly on her for every little thing, then I will not be able to build that relationship needed to really reach her heart. My kids will mess up daily, just as I will and I need to offer them the grace that I need as well.
I could go on and on, but I feel like I have been able to offer my children much more grace each day since my eyes have been opened to these truths. I've spent more time reading to them and less time correcting them. I've done my best to be a good example for them "as the student will be like his master". I've also done my best to stop using a firm voice or worse yet loud tone to get their attention. Being gentle and loving is much more effective anyways. I want them to know that nothing that they can do will ever make me stop loving them.
If you're a mom, then I highly recommend jumping over to Sally's blog, I Take Joy. I've also read several of her books that have been huge in my journey to being a more grace-giving, loving mother. They are Seasons of a Mother's Heart, Desperate and Ministry of Motherhood.