Monday, February 04, 2008

Harmony in the Home Update

Last Tuesday, I was given the honor and blessing of being able to speak to a group of MOPS (Mothers Of PreschoolerS.) Because it was just a couple of days after my trip to Florida, I asked some of you to help me with your 'sure-fire parenting tips for preschoolers'- and man oh man did you deliver! I promised an update, which is hard to do because I was deathly affected with Bronchitis (and possibly running a fever) so I was totally running on Holy Spirit power.

I cannot thank ya'll enough for jumping in and helping, 'cause without you, I would have had little for God to work with. What I did was make an outline based on your comments. It was a workshop called Harmony in the Home, so I went with a "do, re, me" theme. Then, I let the Holy Spirit just teach... for kicks, here is the outline I was working from (it's cut & paste so, prepare for typos and partial thoughts):


Do: Don’t listen to the falsettos of perfect moms– they are full of hot air!
(tell real stories here- like the time I flicked toddler spencer in the head)

  • Let's stop comparing
  • Let’s be real with each other
  • Let’s be real with ourselves
  • Let's let God be real with us
Re: Remember that there are many parts of a song. You are the melody… and can set the tone for the harmony (Tell the story here of when the kids prayed next to you during a meltdown
  • Watch your attitude
  • Watch your words
  • Music in the home
Mi: Meal times are a great springboard for a symphony…. With everyone joining in & learning along the way (tell the story here about how children learn so much at the table ((drivethrough generation))
  • Let your kids help with cooking & chores.
  • Engage in conversation whenever you can… meals, bedimes, car times. Put the phone down.
  • If meals are a big fight time, identify what is going awry and fix it… (more on this)
Fa: Fall in love with your husband (and your Father)- a love song eases tension much better than rockin’ relationships ((tell the Spencer essay story))
  • Know more about your husband… what makes him the happiest
  • Know more about your God…
  • learn how to give & receive love from your Father
So: Sort out what’s important– don’t sweat the small stuff ((tell the Jacket & pajama stories))
  • De clutter/label toys- take out few at a time
  • Let it go
  • New definition of clean
La: Lay out what you need ahead of time– ((illustration: tell group to sing a song... 1,2,3... when silent, tell them that's how a child feels when you say 'be good' without laying out proper expectations))
  • Clothes for the day
  • Expected behaviors (kids at the grocery store story)
  • Menus
Ti: There is a Time for everything
  • Time to really be there for your kids
  • Time for your marriage
  • Time for God
  • Time for yourself… find mentors and friends you can be real with
Do: Don’t Forget to enjoy your kids
  • Read
  • Pray
  • Laugh
  • Love
The group seemed really receptive (as far as I could tell between coughing fits) and took notes furiously. I didn't get a lot of feedback (mostly because I had to go lay down when I was done) but it's trickling in a little at a time that the Lord was able to speak to some hearts in spite of my frailty. That's pretty cool, I think.

The one thing that seemed to really effect people, I mean- it totally silenced the room, was something I did not plan to say, was not in my notes, and had not occurred to me in that way before. (That's how I know it's the Holy Spirit; I feel like saying "Could someone please write that down? I want to learn that!") When I was relaying your advice to "not sweat the small stuff" I heard my voice say this, which really spoke to my heart:

"Often, we are so busy protecting our children, that we are creating for them a life without consequences. Our children fight us about wearing jackets, because we have never let them feel cold. They fight us about eating, because we never let them get truly hungry. Sometimes, it's good to let our children feel some of the consequences of their behaviors so they can learn and we can relax."

God is so good to me- when I think I am teaching others is when I learn the coolest lessons for myself.

Thank you again for all of your help. I am so so so blessed to be able to be part of the body of Christ- with us all working together it is a beautiful thing for His glory!

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12

ps- for those of you who hung on for the I applaud you. I could never have read this whole thing. I vow to post much shorter blogs for an entire week as penance!


Gretchen said...

I thought it was an awesome post, and I luuuurved the way you synthesized all the info into an easy to grasp mneumonic. I wish I had gone, and I don't even have any Moppets any more.

I really liked the nugget of truth God gave you there at the end. The kids really do need some strife and consequences. We have to know sadness before we can really appreciate happiness, etc. Still, it's hard to let them go through it.

Awesome Job!

Sing4joy said...

Ech - let your posts run on as long as you'd like. It's all good. Especially the grand finale where God spoke through you! That is a serious point for me to ponder as I am almost always on the extreme end of protecting my children! Much,much better for them to have smaller consequences in a safer environment than big fat ugly ones where no one is around to help them through it!

His Girl said...

totally what I heard from that...thanks for expressing it so well

gretchen & sing4joy- thanks for getting it :) you guys are awesome!

Becky said...

That was an amazing seminar! Good job! You were a good 'vessel' allowing the Spirit to work through you as you did (at the expense of your health, too!). That was an amazing thought at the end, too! Thanks so much for sharing!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Great post! I've been thinking along the same lines lately...focusing on what's truly important to our family & building a genuine family, instead of paper-doll models.

Just this morning, my daughter (9) & I had a discussion about her accepting more responsibility. I will not stay on her about getting ready in the mornings. We'll leave when she's ready to go, and if she's late to school, she'll accept the consequences. I explained to her that if I'm constantly doing things for her, she'll never learn. Surprisingly, she agreed without much fight.

Mama P said...

I am with you on the consequences. Congrats on what sounds like an amazing speech you gave, bronchitis or not.

truth said...

Love the teaching. I'm sure it ministered to so very many. I was involved in Mops, then I was on the Mops steering committee. What a neat time in my life it was. The Holy Spirit moved many times when I had no idea until later. So cool.

Alana said...

I'm so glad it went well! Looks like a great outline. I love the musical slant ;-)

I enjoyed those kind of talks so much when I attend MOPS. Gives us all a little perspective!

PJ said...

I was by here a couple of days ago, but couldn't comment. The "creating for them a life without consequence" paragraph is SO on target. That will preach, girl! I need to do some serious thinking on that topic. I see so much of it at school -- but adults too. We get so good at avoiding consequences for ourselves AND our children, that God Himself must step in to correct us. Wow!

Jenn said...

Wow - thanks for the devotional time this morning! I loved the part that the Holy spirit brought to you about consequences.

I remember how much I loved my moms group when my oldest was little. I would have been one writing every word down! This post will be one that I check back on frequently for reminders.

Glad it went well and that you are now feeling better! :o)

T said...

really, that was awesome!

I wish I could have been there.

Ann said...

That was awesome, but I want to hear all the other stories too! The ones you referred to with your kids, I'd love to hear those!

Jenster said...

I wish with all my heart I could have been in the audience! I love the do re mi theme. (And it was fun to see a bit of me in your list - lol). But the best part is how the Holy Spirit took over. I love that about Him!!