To my fellow Moms,
How many of you struggle with yelling at your children? You know, those times when your patience is tested, your frustration level is high and your nerves are shot! I, unfortunately, have reached this point many more times than I want to admit to you. But, in hopes of providing encouragement and a healthier way to deal with these times, I am putting all my cards on the table.
It wasn’t very long ago, when I was facing a situation with my youngest son that truly had my blood boiling. I was angry and so disappointed. I remember asking Jesus to help calm me down before he walked in from school that day, since I had learned about this situation after he had already left for the day. Y’all, there was a lot of praying going on! A LOT!!!
When he got home, I worked really hard to stay calm, listen, digest his words and learn the reasons why he made certain choices. And then I asked him this question, “Why didn’t you just come to me and tell me what happened?” His answer is what stopped me in my tracks and literally took my breath out of my lungs, and not in a good way!
He said, “Mommy, I don’t have the courage to come and tell you these things because I know you are going to yell at me and I don’t want to be yelled at!”
His words literally punched me right in the gut! But, frankly, it was a gut punch I DESPERATELY needed!
I’m have a fiery personality and can me more reactive than responsive at time. This truth hurt me in my core! I had created this fear in my child! I was guilty of yelling too much and too often. My actions caused my son to think lying would be easier than telling me the truth! OH MY!!
And right then in the middle of this conversation, Jesus provided an idea that has changed EVERYTHING!
The words, “SAFE ZONE” is what Jesus spoke over me.
Since that day, when either of my boys need to talk to me and share something they know won’t make me happy, they say, “Mom, I need a “safe zone” conversation.” And when the say this, I enter the conversation calmly, with an open heart, mind and ear! My promise to them is that I won’t do any yelling at all. They know this doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for what they share but they can rest easy knowing Mom isn’t going to yell at them.
I don’t want to be a yeller! And I definitely don’t want to be remembered as one when they are grown and gone. This new practice has allowed us to create stronger bonds, repair damage that has been done by my yelling and made me more mindful of the way I speak to my children. I use this with both of my boys to provide a safe, calm and secure environment, without the Crazy, Yelling Mom present. Do I get it right all the time? I wish I could say, “Yes!” but the truth is, no…I still fall short on some days. But when this happens I catch it much faster than I used to and we worked through it together! Because I know, if the lines of communication between us are broken, the struggles and division we would face would be unbearable! And that is not a reality I ever want to live in!
Maybe you can relate! Maybe the “safe zone” can help you in some way with your children, if you struggle with yelling like I have! I believe in the Mom network and that when we share our best practices, we can all benefit in one way or another to be the best Mom’s we can be! My prayer is that this has encouraged you in some way today!
Why are we so afraid?
So recently I had a huge revelation! One that literally made me laugh out loud and ask myself WHY?
The revelation was this: If I am NOT selling a product I can talk about it, promote it and share it without the slightest bit of hesitation. But, when I decide to start selling a product, I truly believe in, I feel like I should be careful how, when and if I share it because I don’t want people to think I am an obnoxious network marketer who is only focused on making a buck. Can you relate?
Here are a few examples:
1.) I absolutely LOVE the Rodan & Fields product “Lash Boost”! It has grown my eyelashes like crazy and I never hesitate to share it with anyone and everyone when I am asked about how my eyelashes got so long.
2.) Stella & Dot is one of my all time FAVORITE jewelry lines! I am always wearing a piece I have purchased and proudly share it with anyone who asks; without hesitation.
3.) I’m not a shopper but I LOVE Stitch Fix! I mean for us non-shoppers, having clothes delivered right to your front door is a DREAM come true! Again, I will shout it from the rooftops!
See what I mean? It’s easy when you can share without the risk of people thinking you have an agenda! Right?
Now on the other hand, recently I have been introduced to CBD oil (that is THC FREE otherwise I wouldn’t have considered even trying it). And after first hand experience with it improving hip pain that I have dealt with for over two years, I became a believer! I decided to join the company, because frankly the thought of this product being able to help other people the way it is helping me truly excites me! But I haven’t shared about it yet; hmmmm, interesting.
I’ve been hesitant to share because I don’t want to annoy others or be thought of as an icky, salesperson!
But here is the truth, Yes, I joined the company, Zilis and have a desire to build a business by sharing the UltraCell products because I believe in the products and am living proof of how they could potentially help other people improve their lives. And by pouring in to others, I plan to build a fun and successful career. I’m not sure why I feel like I should hide or feel bad about that fact. It’s crazy!
I do agree that how we share is the key! I’m not in the business of selling anyone. I am all about sharing what works for ME, how my life is improving and my desire to help others who have a desire to improve their lives. Whether a person decides they want to be a consumer or are interested in building their own business makes me no difference, the opportunity to choose is theirs. And my biggest goal is to keep God at the center and just be me, sharing my life openly and honestly!
So, there it is! My revelation…maybe you can relate to it as well!
Here’s a little secret…when you see me share about UltraCell, what I am learning about the benefits of CBD oil and how it is helping me, it’s my story that I hope will help you! I’m not gonna be that icky salesperson….just know if you questions or need help, I am here!
Raising children is the HARDEST job I have ever experienced. I can remember as a young girl dreaming about being a Mom and how blissful it would be! Ignorance truly is BLISS! What I didn’t know, while I was dreaming, is how much work, prayer, and guidance I would need to have any success at all.
Recently, I faced a very difficult parenting moment with my youngest son, Walker. He was involved in a situation where he made a very wrong choice. As I learned about this event, he and I sat down and he shared that he had done what I was told and that he was really sorry. I could see the remorse in his eyes and the sadness in his heart but there was still more to discuss. He needed to understand why his choice was so wrong and how choices like this would lead to huge consequences as he continues to get older. We talked about the “Y” in the road that we face where we either make the right decision or the wrong one.
And then I asked him this question. “Walker, What would Jesus Do, in this same situation?” He paused and answered, “Not what I did, Mommy!”
One of the consequences of his choice was to sit and write “What would Jesus Do” 100 times. I feel like having the powerful question, engrained in his subconscious will help him navigate the decision and situations he will face for the rest of his life.
And this got me thinking, this question can serve us, as adults, well too! I know there are many times that if I had stopped and asked myself this question, my choice would have been different. It’s funny how when we are in the thick of parenting and working to teach our kids, we are also being taught ourselves.
So, I not only want to help my boys carry this question around with them, but I want to make sure it is one that I ask every time I am faced with a situation or a decision. Because, there is no doubt, Jesus will always point us in the right direction.
Every step we take is Progress, and it Matters!
What’s your “thing”? What is the quality, characteristic or attribute you possess that has gotten people’s attention? Sometimes, I don’t even think we realize we have a specific “thing” until a family member, friend or even a stranger brings it to our attention.
One of my most defining attributes in my laugh! But I will be honest and tell you that I didn’t realize it was unique until others pointed it out. My laugh was just my laugh! I mean it is the only way I know how to laugh. It wasn’t something I practiced or worked to perfect; it is just part of how God created me.
As a young girl, in a small town, the kids I went to school with were the ones who first brought my laugh and how LOUD and distinctive it is to my attention. Now at first, I felt myself want to hide from it. I didn’t want to stand out because I was the girl with the loud laugh. Can you relate? Is there something you either used to or still do hide or want to subdue about yourself because of what others say ir think?
I look back on my childhood and I don’t feel I was made fun of in a mean way about my laugh; at least not the majority of the time. And frankly, it wasn’t something I could change even if I wanted to. When I got tickled, I laughed and there was no holding back!
As an adult, I LOVE my laugh! I embrace it! It is ME!! Recently, I was texting with one of my best friends while I was in Dick’s Sporting Goods. In between texts, I laughed at something the sales clerk in the shoe department said to me. She immediately texted me back and told me she knew I was in Dick’s because she heard me! Clearly she was in Dick’s too but we didn’t know we were both there until my laugh gave it away!
I have learned that my laugh brings others joy and sometimes makes them laugh too! And that is a gift and a blessing as far as I am concerned.
I am sharing all of this with you to encourage you to stand tall and proud in every bit of who you are! Whether it is your laugh, smile, sneeze, the way you walk or run, your height, etc. it is YOU! And God created you wonderfully and to shine bright just as you are!
Be thankful for all the attributes that are unique to you. Don’t hide from them, no matter what anyone says. Allow every bit of you to shine bright and share your light with the world! Because no one else can shine YOUR light the way YOU can!
PS….In this week’s Progress Matters podcast I am elaborating more on this subject, making progress walking in my truth and prayerfully hoping that it encourages those who need it, to walk tall in your truth too! You can listen by clicking here: https://progress-matters.com/podcast
As I sit here today, my heart is bursting to share how God rocked my world this past weekend. He, once again, reminded me that He’s got things handled and I have no reason to feel the need to step in. He showed me how powerful his reach is no matter where we are. He simply brought me to tears and filled my heart with more joy than I can express. But I am going to do my very best to share with you, in hopes of encouraging you in seeing how powerful God is; any time and any place!
I have been fighting a cold and this past weekend was the worst of it. I woke up Sunday morning feeling awful and my husband suggested I should stay home from church. After a little hesitation, I agreed he was probably right. He presented the idea of maybe listening to a podcast or watching a service on TV instead. As that thought set in, I hurried to get the boys fed so they could get ready for church, I was under that assumption that the three of them would still attend church.
As I was telling Walker, my youngest, what to wear as he headed upstairs, my husband walked in and said, “What is he going upstairs for? I meant we would all stay home together.” Clearly we weren’t on the same page with the morning plan. So, we stopped Walker from going upstairs.
I was instantly riddled with guilt. Guilt because I was sick and keeping the rest of the family from going to church. Frustrated that they were going to “miss out” because of me! And this is when God probably began to laugh out loud; as what was about to unfold was BEYOND my wildest dreams!
After I gathered myself and accepted the “new plan”, I turned on the TV and found the Gateway Church Service that we could all sit and watch together! As the preacher began speaking, he explained that the message was going to be about being “born again”! He started illustrating the difference between being born of the flesh and being spiritually reborn. John 3 is where we landed in scripture with the story of Nicodemus. Jesus replies to Nicodemus in John 3:3, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.” He goes on to say in John 3:5, “The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the spirit.”
As we listened, my youngest, Walker, who is 8, stated that he wanted to be “spiritually reborn”! Now, back in 2016 he decided one Sunday morning to go up to the front of our Church and ask Jesus into his heart. We reminded him of that day and assured him that he was spiritually reborn on that day and has been walking with Jesus ever since.
Here is where God, once again, proved to me that His reach has NO LIMITS! As we finished speaking to Walker about his spiritual rebirth, I turned to Nathaniel, my 10 year old, and asked him a question I, honestly, I had never asked him before.
In awe that I had never uttered these words to him, I said, “Nathaniel, have you ever asked Jesus into your heart? And for him to be the Savior of your life?”
He paused and said, “I think so but honestly I am not sure when it was.”
My husband and I took this opportunity to talk to him about why actually asking Jesus into his heart is such an important part of his spiritual rebirth. And as we spoke, the sermon we were also listening to in between comments, was mirroring what we were sharing.
We explained how you can do things on behalf of Jesus. You can proclaim Jesus’ name but if you don’t have a personal relationship with him, those things don’t matter. In Matthew 7:23 Jesus makes this perfectly clear when he addressed religious people, who sounded religious but weren’t. He said, “But I will reply, I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.”
We could see Nathaniel was taking every word we said in and the wheels were turning.
As the service ended, we were asking the boys if they had any other questions. Walker bounded from the couch with a “No, I’m good” and headed upstairs to play. Nathaniel looked at me and said, “No, I don’t have any questions but I asked Jesus to be the Savior of my Life and to come into my heart at the end of this service, Mom”
And that my friends, is a moment in time that I will NEVER forget! We didn’t need to be a church that morning for our souls to be fed. God used this opportunity for us to sit around our living room, watching church on TV to minister to all of us and to give us the opportunity to minister to our children.
I am grateful for moments like these! When God shows up SOOO BIG, just as you think because your plan has changed the opportunity for him to speak to you and your family is lost, and He reminds you that nothing is lost and EVERYTHING was gained! EVERYTHING!
Thank you, Lord! You are a GOOD, GOOD Father! And your plan trumps mine, every, single time!
PS. If you want to hear an audio account of me tell this story, stay tuned for this week’s Progress Matters Podcast, which will be released on Thursday morning! You can find it at https://progress-matters.com/podcast
Surrender! How do you feel when you hear that word? Does it make you tense up? Feel out of control? Are you filled with the urge to fight back, refusing to give up the reigns and surrender?
If you were sitting here next to me, you would be able to see my heart rate increase as we begin the conversation about Surrendering. I’m one that likes to have control and am definitely all about knowing the “plans”! I mean, if I’m honest, not much happens in my household without me being at the center of the plans. Planning is my thing!
Now, let’s pause to imagine God laughing as I type these words. Because, I KNOW, I provide humor for him on a daily basis! I mean, who am I kidding? I have NO CONTROL! I am not the Ultimate planner of my life and how it will unfold. HE is!
I’ve been spending a lot of time the past few months slowing down and being still. Working to give up the reigns I love so much to hold on to and just frankly, getting out of God’s way. Y’all, I can wholeheartedly tell you I am a work in progress…probably always will be but I’m making progress nonetheless. I am learning the beauty in what truly surrendering to God really means. I am finding peace and freedom in not “knowing” what the next step is all the time. Yes, I really just typed that! I know…crazy, right? But SOOO true, girl!
Right now I feel like God has placed a blind fold over my eyes to help me learn to blindly trust Him and let Him be the ruler over my life, day by day and minute by minute. Easy? Ummmmm…NO WAY! But I am starting to really see the fruit of being blind. Seeking God first every day and giving my relationship with Him quality time is becoming a deep rooted desire in my heart and mind every morning as I wake.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in the world! All the “Things”; I mean it really never ends, unless, WE make a choice. Choosing God, seeking Him for the next step in our lives instead of what people on Instagram or Facebook would lead us to believe is next; that is the sweet spot! God is the sweet spot! And He’s got me and you!
He works is so many amazing ways that my mind is continually blown. One of the things I have been praying for and asking for him to intervene in is to make me desire to want to spent more time with him. And because He is a good, good Father, that desire is growing by the day! And it isn’t just a quick 5 minutes of reading a devotional to check the box. It is reading multiple devotionals, scripture, journaling, being still and praying. And that time is beautiful! Sacred! A time when God lays things on my heart and speaks over me because I am making myself deaf to the noise of life during that time so I can BE with Him. I mean, REALLY, be present!
He is working in me and I know this will allow him to work through me too! So, while surrendering used to cause my entire body to grow tense, I am learning to lean in, laying my life and all that I have at his feet. Surrendering it all with a joyful heart and an excitement of how He will use this transformation for His good! And even when I have a lapse in judgement to try and take the reigns back, God is there is lovingly loosens my grip and reminds me that His plan is always going to be FAR greater than any plan I can orchestrate! And, I am beyond grateful for that reminder because I do believe that with every fiber of my being but old habits sometimes die hard!
Can I get an Amen?