Monday, October 17, 2011

reap to sow: chapters 3 & 4

If you're just joining us (and we're so glad to have you along!), we're taking two chapter per week from the book, The Power of a Positive Mom: Revised Edition by Karol Ladd.

On Mondays we focus on reaping: What are we gleaning, discerning from the reading?
On Fridays we focus on sowing: What actions from the Power Points can we apply in our lives in order to become more positive mothers?
For the discussion from the first two chapters, please hop on over to Courtney's blog to read Monday's and Friday's installments.

And now, Chapters 3 & 4...

I couldn't help but laugh at the last sentence in the second paragraph in Chapter 4. Karol writes:

"Our challenge is to learn how to be the wind in [our children's] sails without blowing them off the course God has set for their lives."

I laughed because I could picture myself as God must see me sometimes...all enthusiasm and go-getter attitude, just raring to tackle what He has laid before me, but bringing a little too much of me to the table. To stick with the wind using a set of bellows to blow the fluff off a dandelion, when all that is needed is a gentle puff of breath.

And perhaps He permitted me that glimpse of humor because He knows He is the Safety Net to catch them and steer them back onto the course He has chartered for their lives.

What is more sobering to me is the idea of taking the wind out of their sails. Which is what I know I do when I fail to encourage, or worse, use harsh words to try and motivate.

Enter Chapter 3 (because reversing the chapters' order seems to fit with the reaping, then sowing theme ;) ).

I struggled with this chapter. There is something in me that resists the truth of its message, perhaps because acknowledging its truth requires a change in how I speak to my children when the going gets tough. A change that requires a lot of hard - and heart - work.

 It is easy to praise and encourage my children when they are walking in obedience. It is harder to do so when then are not. I am faced with the dilemma of seeing how yelling or threatening related consequences gets immediate results when kinds words failed to do so. Yet I want to meet the challenge of believing constant encouragement and words of love will motivate them to obey, because yelling doesn't exactly feel like Jesus to me.

If you are in the same place I am with this, thankfully, we have the Lord's encouragement through Karol's words and the Power Points at the end of the chapter. I will be praying that through this week, He will help all of us find ways to encourage our children in each moment. Good, bad or ugly.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Andrea - I found chapter 3 to be challenging, too. It is hard to be encouraging all the time! But I thought her suggestion to aim for 3 encouraging comments per day per child was a good one - I do well with measurable goals like that.