Friday, June 8, 2012

I Had Enough This Morning

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.  


  1. Beautiful! Don't you love it when the Lord gives us exactly what words to say? We had one of those experiences just last night.

    Hope your weekend is BLESSED!

    Laurel :)

  2. I so agree- it is 24/7- sometimes it exhausts me.

    I love how God supplied the lesson in the nick of time!

    I have had to sit them all down too- things were getting to negative and children were complaining, whining and tattling constantly. I told them that if they didn't have something nice to say they should say NOTHING at all.

    It helped. I also find that I set the tone in the house- such a big responsibility. When I begin to feel crabby I go straight into prayer... "Please Lord don't let me be crabby, please Lord"

    We also insist that the children help with everything. We were doing laundry and they started to complain and called it "my work". Then I said look at what I washed... is anything here mine? Nope it wasn't- it was ALL their clothes and jackets.

    Dear friend we are in Denver right now but have a full schedule with Mark's graduation and spending time with Matt and Caitlin- next time we are here let's plan time together! I would LOVE to solve the world's problems with you! And if not the worlds we can work on ours!!

    LOve you!!

  3. Loved your teachable moment. We have just begun summer break here, so we're all trying to find our groove. Thanks for sharing b/c I need to try to not make my first words based on knee-jerk reaction to frustration, which is so easy sometimes when it's "one of those days".

  4. awesome! They won't soon forget the lesson.

    It's amazing how the Lord gives us these little visuals when we ask for them.


    hope you have a blessed and peaceful weekend.


  5. Shonni, I can SO relate. God has been really growing me in the area of training the hearts of my children instead of reacting to their bad behaviors. It can be so hard. I have shared openly with my children how hard it is for me to endure their adversity towards one another. This seems to really matter to them. I found that they really do not want to make me crazy:) we talk alot in terms of our "team". I shared that when they throw stones at one another, they are allowing the enemy to win. Then we talk about who's team we want to be on and how we can ALL win by being sacrificial, generous, compassionate...
    What really hit home was when our unsaved neighbor asked me if I had a rule that my kids can't share their things with each other. She overheard 2 of my kids arguing about their roller blades and scooters in our driveway... Long story short, I was able to use that to say, "how can we expect to share Christ with our unsaved neighbors if we don't even have love for each other?" As embarrassing as that was, I'm so glad it happened. It was a great teaching tool and things are going much better. Today they shared and played and helped and said kind things... So much that I gave them each a dollar for their efforts.
    I will be praying for you. I know how exhausting it can be and I can only imagine how much more exhausting it would be if I had as many lovies as you do. I love the plant idea btw. I might have to steal it!

  6. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who feels that way right now! I have a plant we just might have to rip up soon! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I think my boys need something exactly like this. They are constantly teasing, tattling, fighting...I feel so depleted after just a few hours and find myself feeling anxious. I think they need to see what happens when you tear something apart. Thank you for posting this, I will be praying the children are more aware and responsible for their actions.

  8. I love this! I have been feeling the same way - drained from the tattling and all! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. This life we lead is so hard and I want to encourage others struggling with the same thing. It's hard to be honest and transparent but it's necessary if we want to encourage others to follow the great Healer. I look forward to getting to know you through your blog. God bless.

  10. Wow! What an awesome lesson. It teaches little kids (and big kids) that we are hurting God's creation with our words and attitudes. Love it!

  11. That is an AWESOME "metaphor" in real life!!! LOVE THIS!!!

    Praying they will allow it to sink in......and to remember.


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