One of my new year's resolutions this year is to challenge myself to become a better me... I don't know if your'e like me at all, but I have a whole laundry list of things that I wish I did better or things I want to change about myself. I am very lazy and undisciplined so changing anything about myself is very hard... but I'm tired of making excuses!! So, I have been reading a few books and trying to work on being a better me in the areas of parenting and marriage.
"Scream Free Parenting" is a book about putting yourself first and working on your own issues (anger, anxiety, reactive responses). Instead of trying to train our kids how to act, it talks about using the principle of showing them how to act by the way we act/handle situations. One quote that really spoke to me said "... a shift from controlling your kids' behavior to influencing their decisions. Your goal is not to control. Your goal is to influence." I try to control what my kids do... how they act at a restaurant or a store... instead, I need to be teaching them and influencing them so they can make the right decisions, and by keeping my cool I am reinforcing their good behavior. I'm not very far into the book, and am not a fan of how "self help" it is, but I think there are some good bits I can take from it!
The other book I've been reading is called "Confessions from an honest wife". Marriage is hard, and mine has a handful of issues that we are dealing with... I like this book b/c it is real. The author interviewed many different women and the chapters are experts from those interviews... real life stories from real wives. Women can be very superficial, and especially in the church we tend to feel like we have to be perfect and act like nothing is wrong, when really we're not fooling anyone! Marriage is hard, and without support from others who have been or are going through issues that you and your spouse deal with its hard to get through.
Here's a rather long exert that I really identified with... "I began to see how I live a life of recipes and methods. The small group, the Bible reading, praying, and tithing- much of that is for a purpose of following a formula so that my life will turn out the way I want. I realize I'm doing the right things, but I'm using them to control the outcome of my life." "It's an absurd notion that I could contain God in a method, but thats what I've been doing. So this is my challenge: relinquish control. And it scares me. It means if I walk out from under the canopy of formulas, I walk out knowing anything can happen. Of course, anything always could, but until now I've lived under blissful delusion. So here's where it leaves me: I must approach God as I am. I must ask him to purge my current way of thinking and being. That means my husband and I need to spend time with God separately and then together as a couple. My dilemma is making this head knowledge real in the practical workings of my life. I must learn to be, not only do."
I feel like I'm at this point where I am finally starting to grow up and see that I can change the way I think and the way I act... I don't have to be like my parents just b/c thats how I grew up and the way I was taught. I am apart of a church and Jesus' family, not just a religion where I do things just to be called a Christian! Jesus meets me where I am right now... he takes all my junk, cleans me up, and helps me see that I am so much more with Him than on my own.