Tag Archives: parenting

Playing the God Card.

It’s no longer easy clothes shopping with Anna Takle.   Not that it ever has been.  But, friends, it’s harder.  Much, much harder.  I had to try to resuscitate Kris after Anna asked for a bra.  In every store, little bras hung, and Anna clung to them like that little undergarment would make her world complete.

Then, she insisted on trying on a pair of shorts her father and I were not going to pay for.  They were just too short for our taste.  We let her try them on.  And, subsequently, we still told her no.  The bewildered look on her face to our opposition to the shorts let us know she thought we were being a little over the top.  She looked at me and said, “You just don’t get my style.”

I realize her intent with the short shorts is probably not to be a sexy little seven-year old.  So, what’s the big deal?  It’s probably not.  Not today.  But, it will be one day when her young innocence becomes a little more infiltrated with what society deems as beautiful for girls.  And, I’d just rather loosen the reigns later than have to tighten them.  So, I remain a stick in the mud kind of mom, I suppose.  Who doesn’t get her style.

I didn’t go into the conversation of “Anna, you are not the sum of your parts,” speech.  I just didn’t think it timely for her age.  But, I also didn’t tell her “Those shorts aren’t Godly.”  Because, that would’ve been a legalistic explanation, I’m sure.  I just told her that we didn’t think those shorts were the right choice for her today.

I think too often we play the “God card” with our kids.  It’s something I have recognized in my own parenting.

“How do you think it makes God feel when you are being ugly to your sister?”

“How would Jesus had handled this situation?”

“Do you think it makes God happy when you deceive us?”

The list could go on.

I serve a God who loves me no matter what.  Whose blood covers a multitude of my stupid mess-ups.  Who has an endless supply of grace that He lavishes on me.  So, who was this God I was teaching?  Not the One I cry out to.  Not the One who shows grace to me when I screw up as a parent.

I haven’t played the God card in every parenting situation.  There have been plenty of moments where pure discipleship abounded.  But, those times I’ve played the God card didn’t even rest well in my own spirit.  It just seemed convenient.  And, a quick fix.

So, instead of asking “How would Jesus had handled this situation?”  I might ask, “Why do YOU think it’s better to forgive?”  “How does it make YOU feel when you forgive?”

Because, friends….

Teaching our children to do right for the sake of doing right isn’t going to cut it by itself.   Through every life lesson, we need to do our best to tell them WHY His way is better.  WHY forgiveness is just as much for us as it is for the one who hurt us.

And, I have a life full of examples of why choosing to do things God’s way has made all of the difference in my own life.

So, share your own life examples with your children.  Tell them why it has worked for you.  Don’t make your children live in fear of not only disappointing you, but disappointing their Creator.  Instead, portray their King in such a way….live for Him in such a way….that they will TRUST that His ways really are better.

And, when they mess up, show them the same grace He shows you.  Discipline when needed.  But, let grace be the covering of it all.

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Filed under God Stuff, Motherhood, parenting, Shopping, Virtue

Turning the Other Cheek Isn’t So Easy On the Playground.

We try to make discipleship a part of life conversations in our house.  Sometimes, we see it playing out really well.  You know, we see them practicing forgiveness, being generous, and other awesome things the Bible teaches. 

Other times, we see we need to revisit a thing or ten.

Anna:  “Mom, remember the really mean second grade boy, Shane?  He saw me on the playground today and said, ‘Well, looky here.  It’s Little Miss Anna who’s about to get her butt kicked.’”

Me:  “What did you do?”

Anna:  “I told Mrs. Walker, and she said she was already on it.”

Me:  “Good.  You handled that well.”

Anna:  “And, then I went back up to Shane and said, ‘Well, looky there.  It’s Little Mr. Shane who’s about to get his butt kicked.”

Pretty sure the whole “bless those who curse you” talk didn’t exactly run through her cute little head at that moment.

 And, to be honest, part of me wants to revisit the topic.  But, the Momma Bear part of me?  Well, that part wants to teach her a few of my karate moves.  I feel confident that’s the discipleship route her daddy would take.

I’m just sayin’.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

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Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff, parenting

One Shot.

Sometimes in the middle of raising three children, I stop and think how easy my parents had it bringing up just one.  I’m mean, it was always two adults to one child.  How hard could it have been taking me to my weekly gymnastics that I quit as soon as I started?  Just one kid.  And, a sweet, compliant one at that.  It’s my blog, I can lie if I want to.

It’s not the easiest making sure we invest into each of our children in a way we feel is “enough.”  As a matter of fact, we rarely think it’s enough.  We just trust that God has given us everything we need to accomplish everything we need to as parents.  And, we trust His grace to take care of the rest.  ‘Cause you know….I have one shot at this parenting thing.

One shot at making sure this tender heart stays tender, so he can be the face of Christ to those who need Him.

One shot at showing this smart girl how there are no limits to what her determined, fun spirit can do when it is submitted to His Spirit.

One shot at teaching this fearless, wild at heart, (sometimes spoiled) kid three that God wants to use His adventurous heart for His Kingdom. 

One shot.  That’s it. 

I don’t remember all of the extra-curricular stuff my parents made time for.  But, I do remember the life experiences they turned into discipleship opportunities.  I do remember God always being the center of every single decision.  And, I remember looking at my parents so many times and seeing what the love of Christ looks like. 

I hope that’s what my three remember.  I hope they remember Jesus in our house. 

And, maybe when they are thirty-six years old sitting around a lunch table with Kris and I, they will still be amazed at the amount of Jesus pouring from our lives. 

Just like my parents continue to amaze me.  Even if they did only have one kid.

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Filed under God Stuff, making an impact, Motherhood, parenting

The Real Battle.

I spent the greater part of my morning explaining to my 8 year old why less is more when it comes to cologne.  He was concerned with the fact that I had rolled the windows down on the car ride to school, worried that his cologne would dissipate. 

Much to my chagrin (and the chagrin of his teacher, I am sure), it didn’t.

The other part of my morning was spent explaining to my 6 year old why dancing to “Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy” in the school talent show was not appropriate.  Perhaps, it’s the line, “brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack,” I don’t know.  And, if it takes a village to raise children, I need my village to tighten up the ship.  Or the village.  Or whatever.  In other words, I need my dad to pay more attention to the “prizes” Anna chooses when she is with him.

So, she doesn’t come home with a doll that looks like this.

Yes, those are vampire teeth and werewolf ears. 

For. The. Love.

And, to think I took a stance against Bratz dolls in our home in this post

We definitely choose our battles in this house.  Apparently, we don’t choose this battle:

And, the battles we fight now are not the battles we fought two years ago.  Nor, will they be the battles we fight two years from now.  But, we fight the ones that matter.  And, quite frankly, most of the battles I fight right now are my own.  The battle of choosing to make memories with my children over a clean house.  The battle of choosing the house of the Lord over a soccer game.  The battle of seeking God over my selfish desires.  Because, it’s these battles that win the hearts of my children and point them towards the One who loves them more. 

In the book of Ruth, Naomi didn’t set out to ruin her children.  But, she chose pleasure and temporary comfort over serving the King.  As a result, her children suffered. 

Choosing Him in every area of my life is really the most crucial battle in raising my children.  And, while I can rest in the fact that God redeemed Naomi’s life, I know that choosing Him today will make these child-rearing years better.  And, they will be better because of it.

It’s in fighting these battles that I enjoy moments like these. 

It’s in choosing Him that I am really choosing them.

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Reaching the Heart of My Girl.

Well.  I would love to tell you all that I have not complained.  And, perhaps, I could tell you exactly that if it weren’t for a six year old who makes Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe choices look ordinary.  It’s really not the fact that she wanted to wear her green and blue striped shirt with the hood under her blue and black shirt with a peace sign under her gray and pink shirt she wore the day before.  Really, it’s not.  Okay, well, the repeat of the day before shirt did get to me a little.  But, it was the time it took her to put this envious fashion statement together. 

Coupled with the fact that she completely ignored my instruction to brush her hair, her teeth, and put on socks and shoes. 

Because, no momma wants her children to be late for school.  Otherwise, she will have to park her car, and walk into the school.  With her disheveled hair.  And, scary, pasty face.  And, faded yoga pants that have never seen a day of yoga.   

So, can I be really transparent here without judgment?  K.  Thanks.

I always feel like parenting my boys is easy.  While, Anna seems to push every single button on my 5 foot 3 body.  I overuse phrases like “she wears me out.”  I find it easy to acknowledge how incredibly bright she is, but I find it difficult to appreciate the things that make her different.

And, for this?  I’m disappointed in myself as a mother.  I’m reminded of that mirror again.  So, I ask myself, “What is it in me makes me respond to my daughter the way I do?” 

Do I feel that I lose some sort of control when she chooses differently from me?

Do I feel that I will look like a bad mother if she says something that I would never say to another person? 

What is it in me?  What is keeping me from embracing her whole self? 

So, it’s back to the mirror I go.

I only have one daughter.  And, I love her with everything inside of me.  Does she feel that love?  I was wondering this very thing Monday night, so I took advantage of the Five Love Languages assessment for children. 

Anna’s primary love language?  Quality time with physical touch coming in at a close second.  I’m sure Anna loves to hear me tell her how brilliant I think she is.  But, it seems, she needs my time and my touch more than anything else.  This is how she receives love best. 

Dusty Takle needs to simmer down.  Look into the mirror.  And, then give her daughter what she needs from her. 

I need to give her what she needs now, so she will come to me later. 

And, look at the sheer fun this girl brings to the table.

Besides, I’ve heard stories of a little girl who also challenged her mother about, well, about everything.  She grew up and married a pilot and had three children of her own. 

Y’all do me a favor and remind me of this post tomorrow morning when we are getting ready for school.  And, my apologies to the neighbors for what they may or may not have heard yesterday morning. 

Selah.

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Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood, parenting

Honor.

I would have posted yesterday, but I didn’t.  I figured most of you were too consumed with sledding and hot chocolate to read some post.  As for me, nothing edible was safe in my house.  I did, however, cut my 3 Oreos with my coffee down to 2 today.  Because, I do make good choices some days.  And, being trapped inside a house with little people will really make you tune into the choices your children are making. 

I have a chalkboard hanging in the hallway in our home.  I periodically put scriptures on it, and teach them to my children.  A few days ago, Anna reminded me to change the scripture, since she was very aware that in the city of David, a Savior had already born.  So, I thought this one appropriate:

“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”  Exodus 20:12

“What does honor mean?”  Anna asked.

“It’s to treat someone with value,” I explained to her. 

My cousin was gracious to allow both John Henry and Anna spend Sunday afternoon with his little boy.  After hearing him respond to his dad with a little attitude, Anna told him what the Bible says about honoring your mother and father.  Then, she followed it up with, “if you wanna live a long life…”

Had I known Anna would take this to heart as much as she has, I would have posted that scripture a very long time ago. 

Later, Anna asked, “Will you really live a long life if you honor your parents?”

Fair question.  Especially, considering the fact that many young have left us early.  Some biblical scholars feel the promise of long life here is referring to that particular nation inhabiting that land for many days as opposed to life span.  So, I explained to Anna that this means her life would be much happier.  She would be much more content.  And, often times, a happy life affects the length of someone’s life.  It certainly affects a full life.

Yesterday, when Anna asked me what I was waiting for when she requested more Sprite, I quickly reminded her of honor.  Her dad quickly took away her privilege of getting more.  And, she quickly learned that her life, at that moment, was not full.

I think it will be a while before I erase that chalkboard.

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Necessary Supplies.

After all that talk yesterday about feeding my spirit, so my flesh will starve, I decided to read the entire New Testament again. 

I lie.  You see what happens when you don’t soak up God’s word?  You lie.  Actually, I fed my flesh a little with this new, fun creature. 

I love my husband.  Not because he gave me this iPad, which he did.  But, because he also e-mails me pics like this:

He had a few mosquito bites.  He sent me this pic of his “supplies.”  I’m just glad he didn’t go overboard.   And, I actually do understand the necessity of something such as Lifesavers Gummies. 

Anyhoo.  I actually waited until the littlest fellow went to bed, so I could give my anniversary gift my full attention.  Of course, when you are a mother of little people, it’s rare that anything ever gets your full attention.  And, my oldest two made sure it didn’t.  They both felt it was unfair that mommy got an iPad and they didn’t. 

Cry me a river. 

Well, John Henry nearly did.  On top of the fact that he doesn’t own an iPad, his sister got to sleep with me, and he didn’t.  And, the conversation that ensued is one that he will never, ever forget.  And, neither will I. 

Come back tomorrow for that one.

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Filed under Marriage, Motherhood, parenting, Randomness