I find I have to re-write any notes I take in order to begin processing them and putting them into a logical order. Scribbling thoughts down in the moment allows for recall, but not retention. (at least not for this mind!) Our Moms Night of Encouragement last night was exactly what I needed - and what I wanted. The Lord used the biggest of things, like the main speaker, and the smallest of things, like a two-minute side conversation with a friend, to totally revitalize me. I know I have been "off" for sometime, but I just couldn't pinpoint the why or the what. And last night everything became clear. I slept soundly, woke up feeling refreshed and ready to CHOOSE how I would spend my day. Because after all - it is a choice, is it not? Will I choose to be thankful or will I choose to be discontent? Will I choose to have a gentle and quiet spirit, or will I voice my every opinion? Will I be kind with my words or harsh and hurtful? Will I serve my children with joy or will I resent their constant demands? I can only live today once. And it is up to me whether it will be a beautiful day or an ugly day. Even if my circumstances are beyond my control, and I have no power to change them, I can choose obedience to the Father - which means that in E V E R Y T H I N G I will give thanks!
These are my notes/thoughts/inspirations/ideas from last night. No particular order. Just, well, everything!
> Creating a Vision for Motherhood - the challenge: Create a tangible, written, and specific vision for your role as a mother.
> I am isolated - not bearing others burdens, and not letting others bear mine.
> Quote: Childhood has its final hour and then the veil drops ... and we are done forever. J.R. Miller The years of carefree childhood for my children are fleeting ... it WILL end. I have to KEEP MY FOCUS. I cannot go back. I can only forget what lies behind and move forward to what lies ahead.
> Begin with the End in Mind!!! What am I seeking to do as a mother? SOLDIERS FOR CHRIST! Reclaim that vision and purpose!!
> When the heart of the mother and the heart of the children are right - everything else falls into place. Which means ... when everyone is doing what is right in his own eyes, nothing is right.
> Annoyance with my children = selfishness. I am not getting my way, or they are interrupting me, or I am too lazy to do what I need to do - so I get angry. "Do everything without COMPLAINING or grumbling."
> When I respond with anger toward my children, they lose sight of their own sin and veer away from repentance - because now they are focused on mine. (!!!!)
> Am I DESPERATE for God?
> We relax our restraints with our children and spouse - those closest and most precious to us. They see, and must endure, the ugliest parts of us - but we hold tightly to our restraints with everyone else. This is not okay. And certainly not biblical or godly!
> Praise and Affirmation - children need these like they need air!!!! Everyone needs these. Every.single.day.
I love you
I am proud of you
I am so glad you are my son/daughter
You are special
You are smart/creative/thoughtful
> If you want to know what a woman is really like, ask her children. Others usually see our 'best' - but our children see our REAL.
> I need to repent the sinful part of my motherhood to my children - every time. Not only to model what they should do when they offend others, but to model how God deals with us. Repentance and forgiveness - both are beautiful. And healing.
> Spend time with the Lord BEFORE I see my children. Be ready for them.
> Commit to PRAY with each child EACH morning!!! They need this spiritual start to their day as much as I do - and we need it together.
> Micah, Luke, Caleb - pray together as brothers each night before going to sleep. They need to create a bond between them that is more than genetic - it must be a spiritual, godly connection - as men.
> The book of Proverbs is the PERFECT discipleship tool! It addresses every area of life. We read it, but we need to absorb it. Memorize it. APPLY it.
> The Lord gives us countless opportunities to "rescue our children from sin". Think about that ... we would rescue our children from a stranger, a wild dog about to attack ... but we often let them continue in their sin because we are lazy and inconsistent in our correction and discipline. It should not be!!!
> Micah Luke and Caleb - ask them to lead our morning Bible study one morning each week. They will choose the passage, share the "why", and give a personal testimony about what God is doing with them personally.
> Consistency in disciplining our children requires A LOT OF WORK! Which is why we need to be daily prepared for this role the Lord has given us. We cannot raise our children, and we certainly cannot train our children in righteousness, on our own. In our own flesh. It is impossible! We need the Lord ~ "I need Thee every hour."
> Start Character Camp - focus on only the basics of academics and spend the bulk of the day on character. (The rest of February?) Expectations, house standards, speech, attentiveness, complaining, selfishness. Identify the sin in each child - and address the HEART. "From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." It will take time. A lot of it. But it is necessary. We are raising Micah, Luke, Caleb, Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie for ETERNITY! So we better start acting like it!
> Why does Scripture exhort Fathers not to provoke their children to anger, but it does not do so for Mothers? I can provoke my children in .3 seconds! Why is it not a command for us? I wonder ...
> SHOW AFFECTION TO MY CHILDREN! Daily. For no reason. Hugs, back scratches, shoulder massage. Just touch them!!
> The focus of the night: A Vision for Motherhood. We need GRACE to find that vision, and we need GRACE to live it out.
Gentleness of speech
Reliance on God
Affection in abundance
Consistency in discipline
Exhortation in love
> I need to regain my FOCUS as a mother and redefine my PURPOSE. And then - get to work!
Lord, thank You for such an incredible night of revelations and encouragement. You knew how much I needed that time - You knew how much I needed to see the filthiness of my own heart. And as always, You met me where I was, and pulled my feet out of the mud. My feet are still dirty, but I know where to find the living, never-ending, life-giving water that will wash me and make me new! As Peter said - Not just my feet, Lord. Wash ALL of me!