Emotional control is just another way of saying self control – but it brings something to the forefront. It might be easy to consider self control as pertaining only to actions – like you didn’t eat that brownie, so you exercised self control. But the self is a many faceted thing, and even though controlling your actions can be difficult, controlling your emotions is no small task. Often losing control of your actions comes a long time after you lost control of your emotions. Think of a woman committing adultery – long before she lost physical control she lost emotional control. We do not usually lead with the body, but rather with the engine behind it. Read More
One of the most important and long term fruits that our family is working towards is loyalty. We want our children to be loyal to Christ, loyal to us, loyal to one another, and loyal to their broader family – the people of God.
Loyalty is not something that will spring out of nowhere when our children are eighteen – it should be growing in them from the very beginning. And this is because loyalty is fundamentally about who you are, where you stand, who are your people, and who is your God.
One of the most obvious ways to build loyalty is to identify your own self with your children without shame. Every weird input from a stranger about your children is a chance for you to show them your loyalty. There is no need to be rude about it – but there is a great need for you to be completely unashamed and un-moveable. When people say to me, “You have your hands full!” I respond, “Full of good things!” When a stranger says, “Well, you must be busy!” I almost always say “Yes! But who wants to be bored?” If they say something vague like, “Look at all those children!” I might say something back like, “Aren’t they great? We sure love them!” The point here is that my children hear over and over that I am happy that they belong to me. Read More
Hi ladies! This fall I will be doing an online webinar study. It will be a topical room by room through the house study, with a focus on purpose and joy.
The fine people at Canon Press have set it up so that you can register as a group, if that appeals, or as an individual. It will be a live webinar, but the talks will be recorded and each registrant will have 6 months of access to the recordings.
I am looking forward to it, and would love to have you join us! You can register and find out more here.
One of the things that I spend the most time thinking about is mess. Seriously, I know. If you have read much of what I have written you have probably noticed that I can basically not write at all without mentioning laundry or walking on pretzels. I try to suppress it, but it does pop out – probably because it is actually a really big deal in my life. Mess in the home and people in the home have been some of the major headers over the flow chart of my sanctification. Much of my personal walk with the Lord has taken place circuitously around our home, and I am so thankful for that – because also in my home are a bunch of little people that I love. And it is here, in the middle of my sanctification laboratory that they are learning about life and God and joy and peace and family and sacrifice. Read More
Well I have ended up taking an enormous hiatus from actually blogging. Don’t think for a moment that I haven’t been busily writing blogs in my head though – I have! All summer long! Consider them all wise, well timed, and apparently best unpublished. It turns out that the only missing component in my life was time to sit down. It seems like it is time to break the ice with my old friend, the blog, and it’s patient readers.
Summer has been blasting along beautifully, with no child going to bed on time, just like always. Shadrach broke his femur just in time to celebrate his 2nd birthday in a body cast. He is still in it – we hope for only another week and half. We did volleyball league and lacrosse, Irish step classes, and lots of hospitality. Life has been really beautifully full. The kind of full that makes your back feel sick at night, and your laundry get out of control.
I continue to wrestle, day in and day out with keeping the house clean because I find that to be no small task. There are so many people in this house – living every corner of it up to the max. And I love those people and the creative games that drive them to leave things in all places but the right ones.
But loving this is not the same thing as always feeling like it should be this way. So I think through my options. I feel like if I wanted to keep my house looking great all the time I would have to choose between doing nothing but clean the house, and becoming an affliction to my children all day every day. By that I mean, I could throw away all their toys, and I could walk around behind them all day in order to notice who it was who dragged their dirty hand down the hall wall – but I’d really rather not be that person in their life. Read More
Occasionally when someone who is holding their first tiny baby tells me that they read my book I can’t help telling them not to judge me. I remember so clearly when motherhood was a new thing to me and I seriously could not understand a mom getting frustrated. I was still just eating the appetizers of frazzled, and tired, and emotionally expended. I knew the feeling of being touched too much, but had not accounted for that same nursing around the clock feeling being accompanied by a people trying to brush your hair, children climbing on your back, children leaning on you and whispering into your ear, or just general disobedience in the line of sight. I really truly had no idea how much deeper that pool would go. Cold ankles is one thing, but when it gets up to your stomach and knocks the wind out of you is another.
Some people feel this at two kids, or three. Four was the magic number for me, since with the twins I never experienced three. Anyways, if this is where you are, or even if you are past that now here is a short list of things that I found to be helpful in maintaining joy as you slog. Read More