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. This week we are reading and discussing Chapters 15 &16.
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.)
Chapter 15 felt like a heavy burden at first. After reading just the first two pages, my mental tape went something like this, "Oh great. Now I to try even harder to a be perfect mom. It just doesn't seem fair to place this much of a responsibility on me." Apparently, I'd forgotten to decline the invitation to Chapter 9's pity party along with the uplifting message of Chapter 1.
More importantly, I forgot that God does not expect me to do this on my own. Thankfully, Karol reminds us of this fact: "Trying to be a good example in our own power leads to eventual failure, but abiding in Christ brings fruitfulness and hope." (pg 191).
She also points us to the branch and vine analogy and I love where she said, "...as it stays connected to the vine day be day, the fruit begins to grow naturally. (pg 191, emphasis mine).
I love the natural part best. It suggests an ease and of God bearing the heavy burden for us.
The mental image which came to mind was one of a mother duck with her babies in line behind her.
She may be quacking for them to go this way or that, but at the end of the day, they're going to fall right in line behind her. That's the scary thought. Because, like it or not, broken-flesh-me is going to lead them down the wrong path once or more a day. I'm still learning to follow too.
So God gave me a better image. This one:
Much more encouraging, yes? When we follow Him and our children follow us then they, too, learn what it is to walk in paths of righteousness.
I continue to chuckle at God's timing. So fitting that this chapter of traditions should fall smack in the middle of one of the biggest tradition making times of the year.
Knowing Jesus and following Him has been the biggest influence in setting our family traditions. Though I grew up in a "Christian" home, it was not a real living-breathing-actively-following kind of faith, one built on a steadfast relationship with Jesus. (Thankfully, that has changed and you can read more of that background here.) So much of the traditions I grew up with were more influenced by culture than Christ and once I knew Jesus, I knew I wanted that to change.
Quickly I discovered what Karol points out on pg 200: "A family tradition can't be forced. In fact, we can ruin a potential family memory by our overzealous efforts to make sure everything is "just right."
I'll share more this week about some of the ideas we tried that did not turn into tradition (I still laugh over one of my attempts) along with one that has become one my favorites for our family for this time of year. And of course, I'll meet you back here on Friday to sow these seeds we've reaped today.