On taking time

Yesterday was a difficult day. It wasn't that my children were especially difficult. I'd say it was a fairly average day as far as disobedience goes.

My oldest two (three and four years old) touched the little lights on our front window. They know not to touch them. And I spoke harshly to them. Okay, I yelled.

My youngest (19 months) climbed atop the toy chest for the umpteenth time that day. Not to mention the too-many-to-count other times he gets up there, every other day. And each time he is sternly told "No" and gets disciplined. He knows better! And I was angry at him for not getting it. Again.

And then there's my three-year old, who dawdles at every opportunity. How many times do I have to repeat myself? All without any movement whatsoever on his part. Sometimes I wonder if he's heard me at all.

There were other things, too. But it wasn't the issues themselves, it was my response to these things that was wrong. I knew that it was me.

I talked to my husband about my day late last night, and he listened. I told him about the times the children had disobeyed , and what my response had been. I told him- through regretful tears- of my impatience, my exasperation, my frustration with the kids.

He said something then about how it takes time to do it right. And time is difficult to come by as a mother who is pulled in three different directions every day. (Or more. After all, if it's not my children who need my attention, it's the laundry piling up, the ringing phone, the dishes filling up the sink, a meal that needs to be made... and a myriad of other things.)

But what he said about time was exactly what I needed to hear. That's what I've been missing of late: taking the time to discipline properly. Bibically.

Instead I have spun around from my duties in the kitchen, witnessed an offense, abruptly (and in frustration) administered discipline. I have reacted. I have sinned in my words, in my tone and in my anger. I have neglected to stop what I am doing, take my child aside, and take the time. To ask questions. Listen and understand. Consult God's Word together. Administer the rod of correction. Pray. Hug.

I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning. Today I get to start afresh. And I purpose- with God's help- to do it right.

1 comment:

  1. Nov. 29, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Corin
    Thank you so much for posting this Stacy! It's something I need to constantly remind myself of too!


    Nov. 29, 2006 - Be encouraged
    Posted by GenesisFamily
    we all struggle in this area - but there is grace for our failings and hope in every new day. Proper, biblical discipline is hard, but the results are worth it. I have the benefit of having some older children who show me that it is worth it to do it right when they are little. I still fail every day, but I am so encouraged to have two obedient (although not perfect) kids, when the four very disobedient little kids are struggling!
    Have a great day!


    Nov. 29, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by MicheleinNZ
    Stacy, I'm right there with you. The last couple of weeks I feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall. My oldest daughter (3) looks at me with this blank stare when I tell her for the umpteenth time not to (pick up her sister, play with her fork while eating, etc) as if she's never heard it before. And at the end of the day when I think about how many times I've raised my voice or been harsh in my manner towards her, I cringe. And then when I put her to bed and she says with a smile "You're my mommy!" i am so glad for grace, from her as well as from my Heavenly Father. I so don't deserve it. There is a scripture that I learned as a song that's been going through my head during these dark times "He turned my mourning into dancing again, he's lifted my sorrows." And I wake up the next day thinking, yeah, He can help me do it because I certainly can't do it on my own!! Much love to you and yours.


    Nov. 30, 2006 - About Bloglines...
    Posted by Joni
    Okay, Stacy. Here's what I had to do. I had to go to bloglines. Then feeds. Then add. When the browser pops up I had to enter www.homeschoolblogger.com/rss.php?u=Joni. I don't know why I had to enter all of that! But when I did, it worked. Not that anyone who would ever want to subscribe would be able to figure that out! =) I've never, never had to do anything so complicated for anyone else's blog. So, I guess I need to figure out what's up with the thing. Anyway, hopefully that will work. And THANKS for bloglining me, and for trying so hard in the process!



    Nov. 30, 2006 - still reading your posts...
    Posted by marchn341
    This is a good reminder- time. This is so true, and the time doesn't decrease as they get older. There are always new areas of training to be explored and taught.
    Blessings, Christy


    Dec. 2, 2006 - Hello!
    Posted by Sandi
    Hi friend,

    Thank you so much for your honesty....that's what I love so much about you and your blog. I can so relate to this post in daily life and lately related to our move. I am not being patient or taking time to address things properly.....thanks for the reminder!

    Wanted to say Hi...real quick. Hopefully next week will be more of a normal routine week and I can get back to blogging regularly...after I get back to my God given calling regularly!


    Dec. 3, 2006 - Hi
    Posted by AussieinAmerica
    Hello Stacy,
    I loved this post! You are right about taking time. That is the most difficult part. I have been guilty of all you mentioned.
    As I try to be a better mother I think about what is really important and it helps when I feel exasperated. Helping our children learn to obey is one of the grandest tasks we have. It is wonderful to see how seriously you take your role as a mother.
    Hope you have a lovely week.


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