Parents Get a Do Over too

We’ve been watching an incredible series on TBRI – Trust Based Relational Intervention – to help us build trust based parenting skills to use at home. One of the practices they use over and over is giving the kids a re-do.

Disrespectful tone? Say it again nicer.

Forgot to ask, instead told/commanded? Try again.

Instead of punishing the person, they give them the opportunity to connect and try again. I’ll be honest, I thoroughly love watching these. They are full of useful helps like this.

Yet, in the real world, when the kids are awake once again, it’s easy to use the same old, same old.

My 5 year old daughter was particularly sassy this morning, and I finally barked, “Don’t talk to me like that! Get out of the laundry room!”

And I froze. That wasn’t the response I wanted to use. I blew it. I hung up another shirt, while shaking my head at myself. Next time, I’ll try it the right way next time.

Buzz. Wrong.

I called her back to me, “I didn’t mean to talk to you like that. Were you asking or telling when you talked to me?”

She smiled real big, “I was supposed to be asking. Will you please hand me that?”

I got to fulfill her request, reach something that was too tall for her to reach, and connect with her. And she got to have her do over and see that asking nicely produces better results.

Parents get a do over too. It’s a lot like apologizing – we have to tell pride to take a hike, and we have to tell ourselves not to wait until next time. Try again this time. Don’t let this moment pass without learning how to respond to and lead your kids better.

They get a do over when they mess up so they can practice the right behavior and hopefully turn the right behavior into a habit. We get a do over for the exact same reason.

Until next time,

God Was There

Surely God experienced a tragedy on April 15th, in Boston. It wasn’t just us, it wasn’t just people. I don’t normally think this hard about God in these situations – I don’t wonder where He was. We are sinful and the best comparison I have for this type of situation is this:

Have you as a parent, or as someone who knows a parent, ever witnessed a child (grown or not) do something against your wishes? Mine do it, all of them time. I did things that hurt my parents, that were in direct disobedience to my parents, and that were reckless. In fact, everybody I know has disobeyed his or her parents. Their parents couldn’t stop it; it was their own choice to do the wrong thing. Correction usually came after the disobedience, but the disobedience itself wasn’t stopped.

Now, I don’t want to make God sound powerless, because that is not at all my thought. In fact, God could stop this earth from spinning and squish the entire universe right this very instant. I cannot fathom, grasp or comprehend the very power of God. I wholeheartedly believe He is powerful beyond all human measurements.

He didn’t create puppets to worship Him in some mind numbing, repetitious daily ordeal. No, He created these awesome creative, inventive and unique people. Look at us; we are all so diverse and talented. I believe this diversity was given to us to make worship unique, to add some flavor to God’s “day.” Not that He needed us, but He wanted us.

In not wanting an array of wooden puppets, doing the same thing day in and day out, to make worship immensely dull, God gave us free will. We get to choose whether or not we serve and worship Him. When we don’t live for Him, and we don’t live from His grace, there is no limit to the wickedness that will grow in our hearts. I think this is like a number line; it goes infinitely in both directions.

When we live for God, from His grace, and in service and worship of/to Him, there is no limit to the kindness, gratitude, and grace that we will show (by His power in us). But when we don’t live for God, then people do unspeakable things.

What I do know is this, God loves us and He was there, in Boston. We saw Him when we saw the helpers acting in selfless ways to save others. Instead of running away and taking shelter against what could have been next, they were bandaging wounds, carrying out victims, holding hands, consoling and comforting. God was hurting for those that were hurt, because He loves them. God is hurting for those that lost a loved one, too. Remember that Son of His, Jesus? Because of God’s sacrifice, He knows what it’s like to lose someone deeply important to oneself.


Hypocrite or Human?

As some of you may know, we are back in church. I am really thankful to have a place to worship with other believers, with my family, and a place that makes us feel welcome. During praise and worship one Sunday morning, I was looking around and thinking how amazing it is that so many different people, with so many different stories, have come together to worship God, under one roof.

And I wondered how many of the Christians around me had ever been called a hypocrite for one reason or another. I know I have felt like one at different times in my life. Heck, I’m nine months pregnant and I’m not married. Talk about something that made it hard to walk back into church. But I told a friend some years back, that was pregnant and not married, “The only difference between your sin and theirs, is we all know exactly which sin you committed.” It doesn’t mean anyone else is less guilty, or less of a sinner. It just means mine is obvious and can be judged that much easier.

Thankfully, we’ve not had anyone throwing stones. In fact, everyone has welcomed us with open arms, prayed with us, and helped us grow in our walk with God.

So, back to the hypocrite thing…I know that there is a huge gap between knowing what is right, and doing it. It’s pretty easy to know the right thing, and many “right” things are more or less easy. But some are not. Some are down right hard, feel impossible, and we fail. And as Christians, there are people looking at us, expecting us to not fail.

So, how many Christians have been considered hypocrites, when really, they are just human? Saved by grace, sinners just like me, that are trying. They know many of the right things, but sometimes struggle to do them. They aren’t truly looking down their nose at anyone. They can walk back into church each Sunday, not because they know they are perfect, but because they know that God has grace for their mistakes.

What do you think?