Choosing to Model Joy
There was a chill in the air as I drove my oldest to school today. I grabbed a sweatshirt and mumbled a complaint about the breeze that cooled us down. Taking a cue from his momma, my son crossed his arms, pulled up his hood and commented on the dropping temperature as well.
I forget sometimes that what I share colors the views of my kids.
I forget this when I fuss at fellow drivers, get stressed out about schedules, complain about fatigue and am generally discontent about my day. I forget that what I say, what I see, what I do and how I feel impacts those little ones around me. Because, as their momma, I am teaching them about the world in which they live. I am helping them to look and to see and to take it all in. It is my repeated words that will replay in their heads as they grow and as they become the ones who are in charge of all this.
And the truth is, I have a choice. I can consider my words and use them carefully as teaching tools for my kids. I can slow myself down and seek to find the wonder in the world around me. I can choose to share, from a positive place, this amazing gift our God has given--all of creation, its beauty and bounty, displayed for us to see.
Right now, outside my front window, there is a tree with leaves tinged red. It stands in beautiful contrast to the greenery all around. And this morning, the yellow, autumn light shone beautifully against the fading leaves and sunflowers in the forest outside our home. And not two minutes ago, a hummingbird, dressed in gold and green, hovered happily above our feeder, preparing for his journey home. Do you see what I see?
I can spend the next several months fussing about the weather and reaching for a hat. Or, I can open my eyes and my heart to the hand of the Creator that is evident all around. And, if I am careful, I can take the time to show my children this wonder that I see. I can take the time to draw them closer to the One who loves them best and teach them to see His world from a place of appreciation. Because I know the season will change. And I know people will fuss when it’s hot and fuss when it’s cold and fuss when it’s wet and fuss when it’s dry-- but is this who I want to be? Is this what I want to teach?
This lesson reaches far beyond the weather outside. It causes me to stop and ask myself what I am offering my children each day. When I have the chance to complain or compliment, which do I choose? When I am faced with judging or joy, what will my words express? When dinner is simple and children misbehave, when I am tired and the budget is tight, what am I teaching my kids?
I want them know that no matter the circumstances, we can wonder in the world we have been given. I want my children to know that they are loved by their parents and adored by a God who takes the time to color the tip of an autumn leaf red. For them. For beauty. For wonder in the world He has made.
Will my words teach them this today?
Step families come with a variety of challenges to weather from the moment they say “I do.” Ron Deal addresses specific challenges and offers biblical insight as well as clinical experience as a marriage and family therapist to help equip couples for the journey ahead. He offers hope and encouragement for helping families navigate establishing working relationships within the new family as well as with the extended family.
http://glendora.patch.com/articles/your-marriage-is-a-gift Advice for weathering the storms of marriage from the Glendora Patch
"More importantly, if it is so difficult, why bother trying to make marriage work? For starters, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Research consistently shows that children tend to fare better in married, two-parent households. The investment you make in your marriage not only rewards you and your spouse, the dividends spill over to your children as well"