When my husband and I said, “I Do,” we had all the answers. He was a mature 28 year-old and I had listened to Focus on the Family since I was 9! Besides, my maiden name was Lovejoy: our home would be filled with love and joy! We were experts!
My kids have a book that we’ve read for years. Our last child, a 7 year-old boy, is the one enjoying it now. It’s called, God Thought of It First. It tells about all kinds of things that are common to us that God thought of first (helicopters, hummingbirds…).
By Sharon Autry
Our train is here!” my husband shouted. We hurried down the steps, one child in a stroller, the oldest on her own feet, and Crislynn holding my hand being dragged behind me. From the train platform, my sister Laurie watched the whole ordeal as we ran toward her through the subway station.
She described how Crislynn desperately tried to pick up all the used subway ticket treasures that were scattered on the concrete floor. But I was pulling her along. She’d look up briefly and find a pole in front of her. So her little arm would fly up in front of her face as protection in case she rammed into the pole. As soon as we passed one pole, she’d look down and grab for some lucky ticket only to find herself on a collision course with another pole. Arm in front of her face, she protected herself again.
This repeated three times before we finally made it to the train where we found Aunt Laurie laughing hysterically.
By Sharon Autry
I am officially a wimp! I whine and complain about the most ridiculous things. Dried out leftovers. Missing the two-hour sale by five minutes. The smell of wet sneakers. Having to backtrack an aisle in the grocery store.
The Apostle Paul, on the other hand, was not a wimp. His “light and momentary struggles” included things like beatings, traumatic shipwrecks, and spending days, months, even years chained to a guard. Those things seem anything but “light” to me. But compared to the joy of offering people the hope of Jesus, Paul saw these persecutions as the temporary situations that they were.
By Sharon Autry
Taken from Hold You, Mommy ~ Moments with God for Moms on the Go (Bethany House)
We were clashing about everything: clothes, hairstyles, being upside down more than right side up, rolling eyes and disrespectful remarks to my husband and me. Anything I said made her angry and that made me furious! I was trying to think of something to say to her that would be considered “praise,” but I wasn’t coming up with much! How had we ended up here, on this bumpy detour? I didn’t know. Panic set in as I wondered, “If she’s like this at eight, what will the teen years hold for us?”
A couple of days into this relationship detour, we had dinner with some friends. After we left, their eighteen-year-old son commented to his mom, “There’s just something special about her (my daughter).” The next day my friend called me and passed on the compliment. My mouth dropped open. “What?” I wanted to say. “Are we talking about the same demanding, argumentative kid?”
The rest of the day, I looked at my daughter differently. I had been missing her. She wasn’t the only one who was on this demanding and disagreeable detour! In fact, I think I had driven her there! (Pun completely intended!) That little bit of praise from a trusted friend changed my perspective. I shared the comment with my daughter and she beamed.
From that experience, I learned some things. First, when I have a good word to pass on to another mom about her kids, I need to share it. Instead of noticing the negative things, praising the good qualities I see in her child might rescue that mom from a deep struggle she is having.
Second, passing on that compliment gives that kid an “I believe in you,” message that they could be longing for. When you hear those words as a kid, they have a way of sticking for all of your life.
Finally, I realized that if I’m on that disagreeable road with one of my kids, I need to try to see it as a detour. Detours are time-consuming, confusing, and bumpy, but they eventually wind around and get back to the main road. If you’re there with one of yours, let God guide you so that you can guide your children.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the reminder that detours have their place, and that sometimes the scenic route is a path of blessing.
“A word spoken in due season, how good it is!” Proverbs 15:23b KJV.
Sharon Autry is the wife and mom of 3. She has co-authored two books with her sister, Mom and Loving It and Hold You, Mommy. For helpful mom resources, visit www.momandlovingit.org