Yep, that’s a plant and it’s torn up all over the floor and I asked the children to do it on purpose.
Well, I just had enough today. Enough of the arguing, fighting, tattle tailing, selfishness, complaining, ingratitude, disobedience, rudeness, and yelling.
I have been praying and seeking the LORD everyday as I have just felt worn out by it all. I have lost my “joy” and have really been overwhelmed with the daily battles. I have felt that these negative attitudes and action are controlling my days. It seems that I spend pretty much all of my time disciplining bad behaviors and there is so little enjoying each other happening.
This morning it all stared before I could even get dressed - tattle tailing, arguing, fighting, the works. And I had it. I sat them all down (I did get dressed first) and began to talk to them about the things that they have been doing that have added to the daily stress of our days. I firmly believe that a family must work together to enjoy each other and to have a healthy atmosphere in the home. And right now, it feels like Steve and I do most of the work. And I feel like the “life” is being sucked out of me.
Then I had an idea about the plant. I brought it in from outside (it was “mostly” dead anyway), and I looked at one of them and said “Go tear a leave off.” She laughingly did, and I told her and the rest of them that when they are rude to others they are making our home unhealthy like tearing that leaf off does to the plant. I called another one to do the same and then told them that when they fight and yell they are “killing” the joy in our home. I called Corbin to go pull a branch off, and bless his little heart, he said “I don’t want to tear up your beautiful things.” He wouldn’t do it. (I was totally smiling on the inside). I asked Aiden and Keshawn to tear off some leafs and they really got into it and began to tear up the whole plant. I just watched them and let them do it. The older ones were beginning to see where this was going, but the smaller ones were clueless.
I then talked to them about the attitudes and actions that are “killing” the joy and peace in our home much as tearing a plant apart will kill it. The little ones started to get the picture too now. I talked to them about the things that bring life into our home and family. We talked some more about the things that make the plant healthy or the things that kill it and compared it to our family and home life.
Then I asked them to come to me and tell me one thing they were sorry for. I pulled out my prayer journal and wrote their name and the thing that they apologized for in it and told them that I would be praying for them. They loved that I was writing their names in my book. Then they told me one thing that they were grateful for. They all did really great with this.
Now, none of this was planned. As I said, I was fed up with the way our home has been “feeling” each day. I really felt that the LORD led me to bring in the plant for teaching, to ask them to apologize to me and to offer something that they are grateful for.
It seemed to have given them a good “word picture” to remember. Of course, I know that they are just children and will struggle with these things, but I pray that I can began to teach them to deal with their sins in a healthy and Biblical way, instead of me always just “reacting” to them all the time.
Ahhh, mothering - truly there is no harder job that I have ever tried to do.