Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Directions for Moms

Have you ever felt in your parenting as if you didn't know which way to turn? I know I have. Although I'm still at a loss as to how to handle certain situations much of the time, I do have a few directions that are sure to work for you as well as for me.

  • Look forward. It's so easy to look back and see all of our mistakes and all of our blunders, isn't it? "I wouldn't have been so harsh in that discipline session if I had it to do over again. I would have been firmer about that so we wouldn't have to deal with this problem now. I wish I would have cuddled my baby more. I wished I would have smiled more and 'picked' less." This mind set will only cause regrets which aren't productive for our parenting. We must look forward like Paul in the New Testament when he aspired to press toward the mark for God forgetting what was behind him.
  • Look backward. Though we shouldn't look back with regrets, we can certainly look behind us to see how far we have come. One of my children is very strong-willed, and I can well remember the battles we fought to bend her/his will to ours (and ultimately, God's). While that child is still a work in progress, it is a joy to see how much different he/she is from what he/she used to be.
  • Look inward. So many times when I start to deal with a character flaw in one of my children, the Lord points back to me. Sometimes they are just copying something they've seen me do. Other times I have failed to discipline properly or consistently for that action in the past.
  • Look outward. The best ones to go to besides the Lord and His Word for good parenting advice are those who have "been there, done that" and done it well. I love to talk to parents whose children are grown and serving the Lord joyfully and raising their own families well. The irony is that the more experience a parent has, the less they are willing to advise. Hmmm....maybe wisdom tells us that there aren't any concrete answers after all?
  • Look upward. I've already alluded to this and it should go without saying, but the Lord is the only One Who can help us with this parenting thing. We are His children and they are His children. He truly cares and will give wisdom to us if we take time to seek His will.
Give some examples of ways that following these directions have helped you in your parenting journey.


  1. Great thoughts! So true! I needed that today!

  2. Glad it came at the right time for you. Good to see you on here, Tonya!

  3. Taken from A Bucket of Surprises by J. John and Mark Stibble

    A couple had two little boys, aged eight and ten, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved. The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons' behaviour.

    The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if her thought they should sent the boys to speak to the clergyman. The husband said, "We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!" The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually.

    The eight-year-old went to meet with him first. The clergyman say the boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?"
    The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God?"
    Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face, "WHERE IS GOD?"
    At that the boy bolted from the room and ran straight home, slamming himself into the closet.
    His older brother followed him into the closer and said, "What happened?"
    The younger brother replied,"We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it."

  4. Taken from A Bucket of Surprises by J. John and Mark Stibble

    If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
    If a child lives with hostility, she learns to fight.
    If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
    If a child lives with shame, she learns to feel guilty.
    If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
    If a child lives with encouragement, she learns confidence.
    If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
    If a child lives with fairness, she learns justice.
    If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
    If a child likes with approval, she learns to like herself.
    If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world

    by Dorothy Law Nolte

  5. Taken from a Barrel of Fun, by J John and Mark Stibble

    One Sunday a young boy was 'acting up' during the church service. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle.
    Finally the father picked up the boy and walked sternly down the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer the boy called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"

  6. Cute stories! Thanks for sharing, Sarah!