Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Thursday, January 06, 2011


When we were part of the cult, *catchy* phrases like "control your thinking" and "renew your mind" were tossed about like a colorful pasta salad in extra virgin olive oil. Furthermore, "schedule yourself" and "appropriate the promises of God" and "claim the promised land" were regularly dished up, like the Parmesan cheese going right on top.

I grew to despise pasta salad.

All that claiming, renewing, controlling, scheduling, and appropriating were quite exhausting. It left me deflated, feeling never enough, while paradoxically, at the same time leading to highly elitist thinking.

When we left that group, I desired nothing more than to run far far away from endless, continual, ever reaching, never content striving. I wanted to rest in Him. To abide in relationship with simplicity, to dwell, just be. I resolved to always check myself for legalistic thought patterns and tendencies, and thereby endeavor to avoid them like the plague. (I fail often at this!)

It's not my nature to make lists either. (Which is probably why I forget so much!) Nor do I have a strict homeschool schedule or a set type of discipline for the kids, or many other hard, fast routines or rules by which I live. Holiday celebrations are not consistent year to year at our house. Traditions are not ritualistically adhered to.
I co sleep with my babies and nurse on demand and let them potty train when they show interest and believe in the better late than early philosophy of learning. I may keep the kids up late some nights for no particular reason or skip school altogether simply because it is a warm day in January or serve ice cream sundaes for breakfast. We might even open Christmas presents on Dec. 22, spontaneously.
Going with the flow, being inspired, and allowing things to organically occur is definitely my comfortable, autopilot speed.

Lately, as I forge through this unknown territory called Adoption Terrain - I am beginning to see that I could be a much better mother to these kids if I disciplined myself to routinely, by schedule, reach out to them in very tangible ways. Waiting for inspiration was not effective in my new role. It rarely ever came on its own.

I must determine, in advance, what I would do and when.
I must discipline myself to draw near to them.

This where her challenge came in, at exactly the right time.

My family dynamic is such that when I sit in a rocking chair with Meadow or Flint Clover will literally scream and claw at them to get down, so I have altered the approach some to suit our brood.

But the effects of making a concerted effort toward them, of setting aside time to do what is required to meet needs and connect heart to heart, is already yielding huge dividends in a short time.

I'll share more about how later....


Carla said...

Looking forward to hearing more...God has been dealing with me to routinely set aside one on one time for our adopted children. It is quite the challenge for me.

Holly said...

I have been mulling over her challenge now for three weeks....
I want to, but like you, if I'm sitting with one it ensues a war with someone else.

I was too dense to think about alerting the challenge.
Which is why I have friends like you.
I don't think outside the box, I just copy other people's out of the box ideas (or the idea that I could even go out of the box) - sometimes I think my spiritual gift is copying ;-)

Thanks. That's what I'm trying to say.

Courtney said...

love these glimpses into your past, home and heart...

and i LOVE that challenge...but know (because i AM a list person and struggle with all that first section you talked about a LOT) that it would become a "chore" too quickly...but it IS in the back of my mind...pushing me on to connect with each child...

HollyMarie said...

I've been meaning to start this up with B again. I did it with her a bit a year ago but I can sense that she still needs it. I'm ashamed to say that I don't easily part with even a measley 15 minutes of just sitting w/ a child unless it's the minutes prior to bed when I'm reading them both stories on the couch or the every once in a while family movie viewing. Sheesh that sounds terrible.

JamesBrett said...

i'm new at all this parenting stuff, but surely you're on to something when you find a happy medium between acting with intentionality and discipline and being a slave to checklists and the like.

Tisha said...

Carla, it is quite the challenge for me too! So, I don't do the challenge exactly the same way as Lisa. Baby steps....

Holly, haha copying is your spiritual gift. Funny. We're all copycats! We can't help ourselves. It's what keeps the fashion industry in business. :)

Courtney, thank you. The wacky cult stuff is kind of awkward to share, but it definitely has shaped my thinking and motivations, so it plays a pretty significant role in who I am to this day.

Holly, No it doesn't sound terrible! 15 minutes is a long time! There are lots of things we can do and would probably rather do than sit. The day breezes by in such a hurry it is tough to set aside even a quarter hour.

Brett, I was thinking it was funny for me to share here how relaxed and go-with-the-flow I am as a parent, right after I left you an essay in your comments about the virtues and necessity of teaching our children to work heartily and instill in them a sense of service so they can learn to independently provide for themselves and not prolong emerging adulthood.

But, both are true. I am laid back about a lot, and yet my husband and I feel STRONGLY about making our home an environment that raises up young people ready and willing to contribute.

I think you're right. A happy medium where you can enjoy relationship with your children while purposefully training them is a blessed place to be!

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