The day I got married, one of my closest friends looked me in the eye and said "God has many wild and wonderful things ahead for you and Jeremy."

Being called mom by 7 kids is definitely wild. Each day I look for the wonder in it all...and give thanks.

Partnering with my husband in life, parenting, work and serving is definitely wonderful. He is my favorite.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Are we there yet?

When my kids were babies and I was exhausted, my friends who had teens told me, "Just wait."  Now my babies are teens and 3 years ago (almost) we added more to the mix so I have 4 teenagers and 3 more coming up. 

Just in case you were wondering why I don't come here often.  

It's because my friends were right!  Teenagers are hard.  I am still exhausted.  And those same friends are telling me, "Just wait until they are in their 20's.  You still worry.  You just trade your worries for different worries."  So I am kindly telling my friends to "Shut up!"

Another reason I haven't come by here much is because I have been doing some work the last 6 months.  Not the kind of work I get paid for, but the kind of work that I hope will pay off in the long run.

I have been (and still am) in the process of figuring out why I do what I do--in regard to relationships....with my husband, with my kids, with my family and friends.

Why are my buttons my buttons?

What is shaping the decisions I make with how I parent?

I started thinking about these questions over a year ago and a friend recommended a book How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich as a place to start exploring. 

This is hard work.  Finding the answers to these questions is hard because it requires looking back.  Not just looking back, but telling my story--the good, the bad, and all the in-between--so that I can fully accept, forgive, take joy in, and feel sorrow....and be covered in God's grace as I live today and look ahead.

Why?  Why do this?  Isn't life hard enough?  Isn't each day full enough?  Why make it harder?

I started this mess journey thinking about my kids.  How can I lead them to a place I haven't been myself? 

I want them to be able to give and receive. 
I want them to be able to express a wide range of emotions (they are kinda good at that already--even within 1 hour of the day). 
...But do it in appropriate ways. 
I want them to be able to ask for help when they need it. 
I want them to be able to set boundaries. 
I want them to be able to have fun and play. 
I want them to be able to handle conflict and negative emotions. 
I want them to understand their strengths and weaknesses. 
I want them to be comfortable in new situations. 
I want them to be able to take risks. 
I want them to be able to delay gratification. 
When they are upset, I want them to be able to seek help and comfort.

Milan and Kay call that person a "Secure Connector."  You might remember from the Child Development course you took in college that this person has a "Secure Attachment."

That's where I want to head.  That's why I am doing this.  It's not perfect and I don't have a perfect history, but they say it's worth it and I am believing that it is.

I might share a few things I am learning along the way.

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