All Posts By

CrystalN

31 Days of Praise

31 Days of Praise…Day 5

I’d love to ask for a little grace on your part, as I didn’t have a chance to post for a couple of weeks due to changing over to a new blog (YAY!!!), buying a car (more YAY!!), and craziness at work the last few weeks.  I didn’t want to rush to catch back up on these days of praise.  I really want to take my time to think through them and Honor the Lord with my words, since He gave me the most amazing gift.

It’s very rare to find moments of peace and quiet when you’re a single mother with three kids because someone is always hitting someone or spilling something or screaming at the top of their lungs.  There are always mountains of dishes and laundry to do.  There are tons of diapers to change and boo-boos to kiss.  I am not one to relish in the chaos (in all honesty, it grates on my nerves in a very special way…not always a good way), and so I have been really trying to make at least a few moments in the craziness to spend with each one of my kids individually.  Even if it’s just to tickle the sillies out of them, or to listen to them talk about school or their “show” they are working on, it seems to help them, at least a little, to feel special in the midst of the zoo that surrounds us.  I’m  not saying that I get it right every day, but I’ve really been making it a point to point out positives more and yell less.  I know it’s making me feel better about myself as a mom, so I really hope it’s making them feel better about me being their mom.  They love me anyway (I’m not sure how much is obligation), but I still want to do better for all of us.

Thank you Father, for allowing me to change my reactions in these every day situations and make it a priority for me to spend a few minutes alone with each of my children.  Thank you for always giving me the grace I need when I mess up and showing me that they need that grace from me, as well.

Book Reviews

Triggers Chapter 1

Praise Jesus for big, fat, huge, miracles! Amber Lia and Wendy Speake wrote a book together called Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses. If there is one area in my life that I am the least happy with, it’s my parenting skills. I am perfectly fine with one child and most of the time, I can handle two of them together. When I get all three of my kids together in my small house and they are bickering and someone is hurt and there’s milk all over my floor, and there’s an obnoxious toy going off for the 15th time, I just can’t hold it in any longer. I let all that nastiness spew right out of my mouth and all over my sweet little babies. I know not all of it is their fault and they aren’t trying to push my buttons (all the time anyway), but I just can’t stop the volcano. Once it erupts it just keeps going and going, pushing over anyone and everyone in it’s way. I’ve tried so many methods of changing their behavior, changing my behavior, trying to explain more and yell less, and having conversations with them about what my triggers are (and they know!), but none of it made a lasting impact on my home.

I am completely and totally convinced that this book reaching my inbox was a God-send. For once, I have a resource of Godly inspiration (something I’ve been searching for for a few years now), written by women who have been there and who don’t judge me for the absurd things coming out of my mouth and affecting my children. I know that they are afraid of me and I hate it. I want to change that, and I’m the only one who can.

Would you join me on a short look through this book? I’m going to be also using these posts as a journal to record thoughts, feelings, reactions and how things have changed in my home. I’d love for you to join me if you’d need help as well.

Chapter One – Disobedience

It’s very strange to me how just hearing the word disobedience can make my heart rate kick up a few notches. I really don’t think that there is a more universal theme of parents across the board than the fact that their kids don’t do what they are asked.

Amber is writing this chapter and she gives an example of a mentor running along-side a troubled teen in a running test and how she coached her through it to the finish line. I hope that I’m not the only Mom that wonders why we can be so harsh with our own kids, but we would never be that way with someone else’s. And I would never allow someone else to speak to my kids the way I do, so why is it ok for me? If my voice is going to be their “inner voice” for the rest of their lives, I definitely do NOT want them to remember me screaming at them!

The other piece of this chapter that really touches me is about my own disobedience (something I’ve been struggling with for a long time). It says that God doesn’t beat you over the head with punishment and condemnation. “He reminds us to go and sin no more. And then leaves us to it.” If we get off-course, He rejoices when we repent and ask for his forgiveness. I don’t know about you, but that’s the farthest thing from my mind when I’m angry and feel disrespected because my kids are not obeying, again. But, that’s what we are called to do as daughters of the Great I Am. We are supposed to bring Christ into our homes. Man, I need some more of that.

If you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them!

Good night and God Bless.

31 Days of Praise

31 Days of Praise…Day 4

Four days of praise down.  28 days to go.  I hope you are enjoying these posts as much as I am writing them.

I am so glad that God does not MAKE me do things that I don’t want to do.  He lets me come to Him on my terms, whether it’s seeking him out for the first time or obeying His command that is changing an action or thought pattern.  Most things are in His time, but I enjoy that these things are on my terms.  Subsequently, that means that I will make wrong decisions and learn from my mistakes.  It also means I have to ask for forgiveness and repent (make changes!).  Our Father never leaves us and wants us to follow Him and to love Him, but He will not force you to.  He delights when you want to please Him.

What decisions have you been fighting to make lately?  How can you learn from your mistakes and walk closer to Jesus?  Would you share with me?

31 Days of Praise

31 Days of Praise…Day 3

Thank you for spending a few moments with me today.  This month, I’m praising God for 31 days for all of the blessings that He’s given me, even though I deserve none of them.

From before I even opened my eyes all the way this morning and heard a little voice calling my name from the other room (Praise Jesus for cribs!), far earlier than I anticipated getting up, until now when I am finally sitting in my bed again, Satan has been hitting me hard with every weapon he has.  You see, he doesn’t like it when we try to do things that get us and others closer to God.  The enemy will fight us tooth and nail to keep us far from our Father.  I couldn’t tell you how many obstacles I had to overcome throughout the day (so many that I seriously lost count), but I never lost my composure, and I am absolutely sure that I had nothing to do with it.  The amount of peace you have when you get out of the way and let God be in control and do His job is unimaginable.  With all the different kids and their schedules, financial issues that comes from being a single mom and work days getting longer and longer, the amount of stess I have in my life is insane.  God gets me through it every day.  It’s only by His mercy that I am even still breathing.

I challenge you.  The next time you have this mountain you are facing, tell God (aloud so Satan can hear you!) that He is in control and you trust Him to provide everything you need to get to the other side.  He will NOT disappoint.  Then get ready to explain to others how you can be so peaceful in the midst of the storms.  They will notice a difference.

Would you share with me what you are thankful for?