Friday, November 18, 2011

reap to sow discussion day

 ***In case you missed the 3 Gifts on Thursday post yesterday, check out The Macs blog for a week filled with giveaways - the final day to leave an entry is tomorrow.***

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 a link to previous discussions, please click here.)

"I will learn to grow through my challenges and teach my kids to do the same."

Chapter Eleven's "Choose" PowerPoint. It gets to the heart of  this season for me.

In the midst of a challenge, especially one I did not ask for, I tend to enter the land of doubt. In that Land, I begin to cast about searching for sure footing in its swampy terrain, taking a step but feel the mud pull at my feet, trying to anchor me down and suck me in. So I test another spot, but find it also starts to give way.

Staying in this Land, I forget to trust God has me exactly where He wants me. I forget to ask Him what I am to learn in a time of challenge. I forget He is purposing me to grow.

Which is why the choice of Chapter 11 is a powerful antidote to my perpetual amnesia. I must remember to choose trust in God and ask Him to show me what He is teaching me in adversity. When I stop in do this, I take my focus off the adversity and place it on the One who brings me to solid ground.

Somehow I always find this principle easier to teach my children than live out myself.

Several weeks ago, when my daughter was again near tears because of her math lesson (it's not her favorite subject), I gave her an analogy to help her see the good in the midst of her challenge. I reminded her of the doorway where we mark the kids growth on their birthdays and how, throughout the year, we like to see the comparison of their current height to most recent mark. I explained that her math lesson was like these marks. Each lesson learned is a mark on the door. To help her grow, however, the next lesson needs to add a new challenge. Sometimes this growth is painfully hard and sometimes everything seems to fall into place and the growth feels effortless. But when we look back, we can see the purpose in the difficulty we faced and how that step was needed to get us to our current spot.

Switching gears to Chapter 12...
I loved the reminder of the "Do" PowerPoint and my husband and I were able to go on a date last week. I was craving some time alone with him away from the house after a couple months of having most evenings and weekends focused on retaining his spot on City Council. Since we often are conscious of connecting over a conversation, a movie or games, I tend to forget the importance of having time alone together outside the house. It brings a freshness into our marriage which keeps that fire smokin' hot.

A seed I'd like to plant in the future is Karol's idea on pg. 165 to make a holiday tradition involving only Dave and I. But tradition is not an idea you can think up and then act upon. It is something that grows over time, which is why this seed analogy is perfect. Though I don't know what this tradition will be, I know that God will take this seed-prayer and begin to provide the water and light until I see the tender shoots of a tradition appear above the soil.

How about you? Which PowerPoints did you choose this week? How do you approach a challenge? What sparked your interest in Chapter 12 and what seeds to you hope to sow into your marriage in the coming weeks and years?

We'd love to hear how these chapters apply to your life. If you've written a blog post on these chapters and would like to share your thoughts, please include a link to your blog in the comment section.


Courtney said...

Hi Andrea - As someone who also shed a few tears over math lessons, I totally get you analogy with your daughter. Great point! I have "perpetual amnesia" when it comes to challenges, too. I've found that staying focused on the moment, instead of trying to look ahead and figure my way out of the mess, helps. I ask, "God where are you right now? What am I supposed to be doing right now? i won't worry about the future . . . " That is something I've been trying to work on lately. It helps me have a better attitude in the midst of difficulties - which hopefully translates into a mother who isn't constantly huffing and puffing. Hopefully my kids notice that.
As for Chapter 12, I also like the idea of a holiday tradition with my husband, but don't have a tradition yet! We've been talking about how we need to be mindful of keeping each other and our family first as we get pulled in many directions with upcoming festivities. I think that simply talking about it lays a good foundation so that when life gets crazy we can better support one another and focus on spending quality time together.

Jayda said...

I really liked Chapter 11. I am constantly trying to help my child deal with his frustrations in a good way - and there are many each day, from trouble building a Lego creation to how to deal with homework. I feel like I don't really have good coping skills with frustrations and he is learning that. I need to continually focus on what I can learn from a frustrating time and hopefully he will learn from watching me! That is easier said than done! I want my children to be able to deal with disappointments in life and this chapter was great in giving me some pointers on how to help them!