Thursday, November 29, 2007

Flowers Amongst Weeds

Several years ago, I took a parenting class from a couple of dear friends of mine. They are a married couple from England, both pastors, who travel the world ministering to families. In one of their talks, they encouraged us to "look for the flowers amongst the weeds" when parenting. Oftentimes as parents we focus on the "weeds" (i.e., weaknesses, problems) that we see in our children and their behavior. They reminded us that children are in fact that, children. They are not yet adults and cannot be expected to act like adults. When they "act up", it's important to try to stop and look for the flowers. What are the potential raw strengths that this child is exhibiting? If given subtle direction and encouragement, what could this trait be nurtured to grow into? Oh how I wish parenting had a remote control...one with a gigantic "pause" button that would allow me to stop a moment, pray and ask God to show me the flowers He has planted in my children. Press "pause" to try to remember all of the good books I've read and advice I've received and actually put it into practice. My present daily prayer is that the LORD would in fact put a "pause" on my lips so that I would stop, pray and then ACT in love, rather than REACT in fear or frustration.

This picture holds a precious memory for me. Last month we took a hike up at the Hoyt Arboretum. It's a new family tradition we just started last year...we dedicate a Saturday in October and deem it "Harvest Day". For over a year now, Liam has been begging to jump in a pile of leaves...only our house is only a few years old and none of the trees have enough leaves to make an adequate pile. So he's been waiting, rather impatiently. The day we took our hike was perfect. Blue skies with a bite in the air. Dreamy. Along the way, we found the perfect spot for Liam's dream to become a reality. He was giddy with joy as we all joined in to build a big pile. Geoff caught it on video and the memory is priceless. Chelsea followed with a little giggle...and we all helped Sara make her first "jump" as well. The three of them then decide to roll down the hill, laughing all the way!

All 3 of our kids have the best enthusiasm for the little things in life. It's a trait I appreciate in them because I'm the same way. Along our hike, I collected all kinds of little treasures, the best of which came from my kiddos. Shortly after the leaf pile adventure, each of my three children came to me and brought me flowers (a.k.a. "weeds"). Funny enough, I saw 3 uniquely beautiful flowers...just as I see my 3 uniquely beautiful children.

Chelsea is a dancer. Graceful and sweet. She also loves watching basketball with her Dad, riding horses and knitting. Incredibly creative and quite the planner. Chelsea is incredibly social as well as competitive and has a deep desire to see justice prevail. She loves to shop, have spa parties and watch chick-flicks. She has a very tender heart and wears her heart on her sleeve. Chelsea is HOPE.

Liam is a gymnast, brave and strong. He loves music with a drum beat and can break dance (yes, I said, break dance) with the best of them! His grace is in his sensitivity towards other, but not in the way he moves. Liam spins and jumps and climbs. He never slows down. Liam prefers 1:1 and gets extremely uncomfortable in large groups. He's the farthest thing from competitive, shares his toys without reserve and has a deep connection with God. Liam is FAITH.

Sara is both a dancer and a gymnast, loves light sabres, tutus, Lego's and dolls. She is slow to trust and quick to perform. She loves to laugh and make others laugh. She has a giggle that will melt your heart. Sara is a helper and servant. She knows where things go and makes sure they stay there. Sara is our little sponge, soaking up every detail and delights in surprising us with what she knows. Sara is a masterpiece in the making, held tenderly in the hands of her Creator. Sara is LOVE.

How did I ever get so blessed to have my best friend as my husband & life mate, and together, with him, raise three spectacular children? God is good; this I know; for my life, it tells me so.

Welcome to my blog; a place where I hope to share my enthusiasm for the little things and praise for the big things. My God has showered me with His grace and mercy and I am eternally thankful for all that He has given me...for truly, I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE.