what I hope to teach them…

Went to the doctor yesterday and he is did some tests and is sending me for a CT scan, so I don’t know much more than I did yesterday, although I do feel a sense of relief. I don’t know why. I just feel some peace today. I wonder if it’s God giving me a break. Something kind of funny happened though… the doctor asked me if I had been in a car accident recently. “Uh, I don’t think so, why?” (I think that was my real answer). Apparently my collar-bone had been injured pretty bad and it’s healing fine now. How did I not notice that? Maybe the pain medicine I’ve been taking has covered it up? I thought it was really funny. I am glad it is healing up nicely.

Take any two siblings old enough to interact with each other, and you’ve got two kids who’ll argue or get on each other’s last nerve sometimes. As an adult I am learning to take the circumstances I can’t control, and lay them down. There are two important steps here: acknowledging the problem, which includes feeling my feelings and assessing why I am really upset because sometimes it’s not for the reason I think, and then the other part it deciding to either work on healing with the other person (or myself) or not, and then putting those feelings to bed and not pick them back up. But what if the other person won’t hear me out, have a conversation with me, or acknowledge me? Well, as an adult I have learned that it’s a sign of maturity to face people and try to resolve problems for the sake of healing. Healing and restoration is what the Lord wants for us. I learned problem resolution through problems and I matured in my relationship skills through making mistakes, feeling angry and lashing out then asking for forgiveness, and sometimes (but rarely) being the bigger person. I still have a way to go as I am not the perfect problem solver, but I am an adult with enough skills to help my kids. Here’s my revelation on this thought… each fight between the kids is an opportunity to become a better problem solver, people person.

It gets me fired up when I hear my kids fighting. What could they possibly have to fight over? I just want them to love each other and get along. I want them to see each other the way I see them (see a little bit of the Lord in this picture?). In the past when I have heard them fighting I would separate them, punish them, and force them to hug and apologize. I just realized that while its standard practice to do this in the world of parenting, by doing those things I am not allowing healthy conflict resolution to be learned or had. Not only that, but my frustration and expectations impede my ability to act as a mediator and to use the “fight” as a teachable moment.

When my kids fight today I am going to ask them if either one wants to instantly forgive and forget. After they say no way, I will appreciate the moment as gift in which I get to teach them valuable people skills that they’ll use the rest of their lives. I don’t want them to be doormats in the future workplace. I don’t want them to be bullies in college. I think that showing them there is a way of the Lord when problems with other arise, they will know more of the Spirit. This will be a part of our homeschooling. Life is for learning, especially the challenges.

Kids who grow up without learning people skills become adults who don’t have people skills. I don’t want my boys to run from problems with others, or ignore them, or to bully others into getting their way. I hope that while they are young I can teach them to work out their problems with each other, brother to brother. Right now they need to come to me or I need to come and help them, but there will be a point when they don’t need me. That’s what I’m working towards. I want children who can think for themselves and have healthy relationships. I want them to have friends in their lives who treat them the way they deserve to be treated and vice versa.

Leaders and pastors are great, but too many times we run off to a leader because we haven’t yet learned that Gos has given us everything we need to know Him, love Him, and to live with each other. I counseled women coming into the Home in Garrison New York several years ago. Sometimes I had to answer phone calls late at night from women in jail who were in a desperate frame of mind. I did need a college degree to do this. All I needed was love, kindness, and compassion. Often times when a women coming into the Home would share a their past with me ( I needed to go through a form and ask some very personal questions), a simple acknowledgement that what they endured was wrong and undeserved would bring them to tears. No one had told many of these women that before. In fact, many of them believed they deserved the pain inflicted on them by their abusers. But, I knew that the work these women had coming to them was going to be downright the hardest thing they ever had to do. Learning to get past the anger and unfairness of what others have done, so that we could learn to spend our days moving forward and loving the Lord, is a process that’s different for everyone, but never an easy one.

I take that experience with me into my parenting. Sometimes things aren’t fair. And sometimes they are really not fair, but the deeper the valley, the higher the mountain. It would be wonderful should they not have to deal with tragedy and loss in their young lives, but when they do I want them to know that it’s all an opportunity to show strength, courage, compassion towards others, and never to let it ruin them. All problems are an opportunity to be loved by the Lord and to give that Love back. That’s probably the most important things I hope to pass along to my kids.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

Love,

Jackie

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