The boys were sick today so we couldn't go to church. During the boys room time this morning, John and I took some time to pray and think for our boys. In Jean Flemings book, A mothers heart, she talks about taking time to do this often for each child. It really seems to help me focus in on specific areas of their life rather being overwhelmed with all that needs to be taught and encouraged. Today was specifically encouraging and productive. One, it is always nice when John has the time to join in rather than getting the big pictures from my time thinking. He always brings insight to the table that I wouldn't catch as their mom. It also really makes the two of us feel like a team in this parenting adventure.
We have really been struggling with what to do with Brady. He is such a free spirit, so unlike his brother. John and I love this about him because he lightens up things. Jake and I are defiantly more serious by nature but Brady does such a great job bringing out the silliness in our house. But oh when it comes to discipline he is so hard. He loves to walk the line of obedience. He waits until he sees me coming to obey and even then he is going to put up a fight while doing it. Up until our time together today, John and I have had differing thoughts on how to approach the disciplining process with him. What was so encouraging about our time was that God really showed us that He has put Brady in our lives to deal with our selfishness and our desire for our own preferences. What I mean is that Jake has always been a fairly obedient and compliant child so we had rules in our home that were preference for us rather than necessity. (Granted I didn't realize that was what we were doing till Brady) Jake for the most part obeyed these rules and made life easy for us. Brady - well that is not the case. He is a rebel of all things pertaining to rules. When John and I were talking we realized that we battle him so often over things that are our preference. So today we decided that for the time being we will choose our battles with him more carefully and discipline him for things that are dangerous and destructive. We also have to add in aggravating his brother because he is a picker and it infuriates Jake to the point of destruction :) (we are gonna work on that too.)
Another encouraging topic of discussion was each of the boys strengths. It was much easier to see these in Jake because of his age. Granted our list of strengths was longer for both boys than weaknesses but I guess Jake's had more depth because he is really becoming a boy. We also pick from these strengths and work on developing and nurturing that strength so that all of our energy is not focused on "fixing them." Jake really has a servants heart and John thought that this was the area to nurture in his life over the next few months. I am really excited about brainstorming ways to do this in his life. I want him to know that all of life is not about him and his little world and serving other people is a way to open his eyes to this.
I loved this time together this morning it was so encouraging and purposeful. Now, I will take the things that we talked over and the goals we set for the boys and make specific applications to our daily life.
If you have any ideas of service projects for a 4 year old feel free to chime in. I think we will bake cookies for the nursery workers at church and take to them one day. We also have a friend that said they had sticks in their yard that needed cleaning up so we may try to do that one day. Any ideas????
I really encourage you to give this planning a try. It is so neat to me to take time to really evaluate my children and see the areas that the Lord is growing them in. It was such a sweet time as we spent thinking and praying for each child. It also gives you a specific time to pay attention and praise God for all the strengths that you see them developing in. I know that so often from day to day I notice their weaknesses most. Any way, give it a try and tell me what you think.