So. It’s becoming more and more obvious to me that I know no other way to do this whole blog thing than to keep it real with you. And I have REALLY stunk at blogging since school started. I have all these things I want to say but somehow my days just don’t have the routine to make that happen. I’ll get there. L starts school next week, and the marathon is October 11th…which means I won’t HAVE to be up at the crack of dawn to run, unless I want to. So, all that to say I’ll find my routine, but it’s taking me some time this year. Onto my thoughts for the day….
The Spicy ones…….
You could call our family spicy. I guess. I never imagined that we’d fall under that label but considering the fact that these following phrases came out of my mouth this morning…
“Get off your brother!”
“Seriously, stop cutting that giant block of ice on the counter with my butcher knife.”
“Get out of your sister’s room, stop slamming doors, PUT ON YOUR SHOES for the love of glory and get ready for school!!!”
“Take that paci out of your mouth, you are far too old to be walking around with it. I can’t understand the words coming out of your mouth!!”
“Get off his face.”
“If you aren’t BIS(butt in seat) in 5 minutes I’m leaving without you.”
“Get your spelling words, snack, water bottle, shoes, socks, and binder ready before you start running around like a psychopath.”
“WE ARE LEAVING IN 5 MINUTES DO YOU HEAR ME?!?! 5 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Those are just a few of the things I spew as we get ready for the day, hugging and laughing somewhere in the middle. Jamming some tunes and being sarcastic and slightly inappropriate at times. So, you could call us spicy. Talking about Jesus in the car between spelling words and the latest tunes on the radio. We may not fall into a perfectly sweet mold. But that’s ok. We love our kids and are doing our very best to raise them to love God and love other’s. Even if that doesn’t always look really put together.
In For the Love, our beloved Jen discusses the spicy family and the hope that is theirs. See, I NEVER would have thought we would fall in the spicy camp. I’ve always been a pleaser, not one prone to angry outbursts or irrational thoughts. I’ve always been pretty level-headed and merciful. Then I became a mom, and all of that changed. I found a gear I never knew I had. A button that had never been pushed…until the noise and chaos of having 3 kids around. When things start to unravel and feel out of control, this is when I come unhinged. I can’t even deal. When doors start slamming, fights start happening or little voices start yelling I feel my skin crawl and I just want to curl up in the fetal position with my hands over my ears.
We sometimes raise voices, we tell it how it is, we speak our mind’s, we walk into the bathroom after a frustrating moment with the kids spouting to each other, “our kids are awful, we are surely raising cereal killer’s or runaways and if they turn out half way decent we should get on our knees and thank Jesus that we didn’t ruin them….but we have to make it through elementary school first, never mind middle or high school.” Jesus, if you could just come back before they turn 12 that would be AWESOME. Puberty is not my jam.
This is a point of insecurity for me. A guilt I carry around. A burden, if you will, at times that we’re messing up these kids. That we aren’t sweet enough or patient enough. That we don’t hold back enough or protect their feelings. But wait a minute. We discipline, we teach, we love, we hug, we kiss, we rebuke the behavior that just has to go, we dish out consequences and aren’t afraid to let natural consequences speak for themselves.
“Condemnation is a trick of the enemy, not the language of the heavens. Shame is not God’s tool, so if we are slaves to it, we’re way off the beaten path. And it is harsh out there, debilitating actually. If your inner monologue is critical, endlessly degrading, it’s time to move back to grace. Then we can breathe and assess our own parenting with the same kindness we extend to other’s.”
We have good kids. But even so, there are times I feel as though our inadequacies are ruining them. Then I remember we’re not. We’re not ruining them. We’re shaping them. We’re showing them we make mistakes and have feelings and emotions. We talked last week about mom guilt, and this falls right in line. Feeling guilt or frustration or even disappointment over the way your family operates is not a healthy place to park. It won’t lead to anything productive.
We compare ourselves to other people who seem to have it all together, but really we’re just seeing a few moments of what seems like perfection sprinkled into their day. We don’t see the toddler jumping out of the tub and running naked and soaking wet around the house refusing a towel or jammies. I have no idea what this looks like…at all. We don’t see the middle schooler mouthing off or the Target check out line melt down’s. Sometimes we do, but most of the time we just see the good, pretty, twirly moments. Not the messy ones.
So we’re a spicy family. So what? I’m learning to be ok with it. To grow where we need to, change what attitudes need to be changed, both ours and our kids, but to not be afraid to be who we are. I tend to go against the grain a bit. I’m a rebel that way. If everyone wears white, I’d sort of like to wear black. If you say I HAVE to be somewhere at 2:30, something in me wants to get there at 2:35. If everyone is feeling the need to look perfect to go to the grocery store, I kind of want to go in my pj’s with no makeup and my teeth not brushed. I know. It’s stupid. I’m just not a black and white personality. I’m a free spirit who likes to march to the beat of my own drum. I guess it sorta makes sense for us to be spicy after all.
So, we will lean into Jesus, the one who made us parents in the first place and who created family. We’ll be on our knees praying for wisdom and grace and guidance with these people we’re raising and responsible for. And trust that He’ll equip us with what we need, wether we are spicy or sweet.
“We are molding failures into character, both our kids’ and ours. Every parent blows it. Every kid comes unhinged. Every family goes off the rails. That doesn’t mean we are ruined; it means we are ordinary.”