Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Be Ready to Change in Your Mom Role

I just read a post I'd made in Facebook that came up on my memory wall. 


Me: "I feel a little crazy with both kids home." (they were home from university).

Kids: "Why aren't there any cold cuts? I'm hungry, when is dinner? I need to go glasses shopping, I need new contacts..."

Me: $1000 in eye care spent in three days. 

In the partly empty nest, we flip flop in our role as mom. I was glad to have a sense of freedom when they moved out, but they expected the same old mom when they came home for weekends or holidays. That was something to get used to. What boundaries would I set?

Well-before that, I knew my role was changing. A book on the seasons of parenting tipped me off to change from mentor to cheerleader--to step back and not helicopter. 

But I've found, no matter what we think, we get surprised. Our child develops their own independent attitude--one with traits we might not like.  They may make decisions we don't agree with. We are tempted to set them straight.

We also can't expect all children to be the same. How we deal with our child depends on the personality of the child. My son has needed far more prompting and assistance than my more self-assured daughter.

Not everyone will understand why I do what I do, and that's okay. 

From Dr. Phil Show

I recently watched a doctor Phil show that disturbed me as I don't feel the mom had come to terms with the idea her daughter had grown up and that she needed to change her parenting style.

Yes, the daughter may have had a brain issue which caused her angry outbursts (her birth mother had taken drugs while pregnant), but the parents way of dealing with her now as a teen was, in my opinion, clearly part of her rebellion problem. 

The mom had rules you might give a five-year old. It was well past time to change her parenting style. From observation, I felt this mother may have been stuck in fear of losing a role she loved. 

One thing the mom wanted to control was her teen's cell phone activity. I know it is an oxymoron when Dr. Phil says to protect your teen by being aware of what they're doing online, but at the same time to not rip away their independence. It is a fine-line. 

This mom would take away the teen's phone which is why she rebelled in many cases.Taking away technology today is like rolling up the sidewalk and breaking off a teen's social life.

For most of us--adults too--technology use is a must. There is no differentiation between using it for work and pleasure. Teens need it for school work, to get messages from classmates and friends, and to use it for fun. 

I could be wrong, but I sensed the mom wanted to control the teen perhaps too much or in the wrong ways, which may be partly due to her not wanting her own role as mom to change. But her role must change. 

If you're a mom feeling a lot of tension between a teen or early 20-yr old, look at your parenting style. There comes a point when you need to trust the training you've done with your child and let them go. You need to take the role of pray-er and trust God to direct your child. 

A child who makes decisions on their own will learn from them. They will develop confidence when things go well, and learn to do things differently when things don't go well. 

Making decisions is the way God develops character in all of us. By backing off and trusting God, you will find more peace and freedom. 

When you feel frustrated ask God to show you if you are taking on worry you don't need to. Ask God if you are being too controlling. Set some boundaries about how far you will step in with opinions. Let your child grow up and separate from you successfully. 

Above all, show love and approval more than distrust and disgust. 

Monday, August 05, 2019

Miracles, Fasting, and Word Pictures

Miracles happen at the same time as travesties hit. It's hard to understand God at times. 

I won't go into detail of the events that led me to write that statement just now. All I know is we can be giddy over one person's blessing and deeply grieved over another's tragedy all in the same day. 

Recently, it dawned on me I should back away from my daily bootcamp commitment for a month. It is like work to me. Daily I have to decide if I'm going to attend or not. I have to shuffle other responsibilities and paid work around it. 

With it being summer, I have plenty of yard work to complete and I want to do some day trips with my husband. Recognizing this gave me the push to cancel a month of membership to take a break.


Often, in life coaching, we urge clients to fast so they can hear from God clearer. I realized today that my August away from from the gym WILL be a fast of sorts--I'll be fasting bootcamp. While I have enough to concern myself with otherwise, the deeper issues of my heart will have more time to flow. 

When I step back in mindfulness, I can often hear God's leading better. New ideas emerge.

I'm looking forward to this period of fasting. I will need to be intentional about seeking God, studying and will need to jot down notes. 

A Word Picture Arose

Recently, as I've been working on a number of projects, a term popped up to describe how I feel about my role. The word God gave me is CONDUIT. 

God seems to be saying I am his conduit--a person who is a go-between, an extension of his love to others.  

I was formally trained to be an administrative assistant. Some of my work in that area is a natural gifting. When I go to work for finding a solution for my son, husband, or so on, I am being their administrative assistant. But when add in prayer, I am more than an administrative assistant, I am a conduit.  

I have always been a CONNECTOR of sorts, but this term CONDUIT is a little more descriptive. I've already done a bit of a Google search on Bible studies on the theme. I'm sure more will be revealed in the days ahead. 

I suppose I'll ask God to show me people and places where he wants me to be his conduit in the days ahead. 

Have you ever been given such a word picture for your life?  

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Pause, Pray, Listen in Your Daily Tasks

I was about to host a group for a pool party and lunch. No matter what others say, I knew some would look around to "see" my house inside. For that reason, I've resisted entertaining. I hate housework. But I decided it was time to stretch and share the home and yard God has blessed our family with. 

So I made a list of over 20 tasks to accomplish from cleaning the patio chairs to wiping down my kitchen cupboards that were looking worn. It was like spring cleaning, though by now it was the middle of summer. 

For three weeks, I poured myself into the exhausting task list. It was incredible. Now that it's over, it's hard to imagine all I did. 

Anyhow, a speaker I admire and listen to regularly pointed out we should focus on what God calls us to and if we stretch beyond his calling a sure sign is frustration. 

I repeatedly asked God if I was stepping beyond.

I was reminded, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  I was reminded what God calls me to do, he enables me to complete. 

Pause, Pray, Listen 

I used the pause, pray, and listen routine through these three weeks of chores. I told God I didn't want to stretch beyond his plan, but that I surely needed him for motivation and energy. 

During the three weeks, using this method, creativity poured out of me. God was at work, allowing me to see what I needed to see, helping me find what I needed to find, and helping me complete the tasks. I think there was only one task left undone--wiping down the track of the back door guests would use. I suppose I should do that soon.

It's a good way to live--seeking God's agenda daily. Staying within the lines of his plan. Sensing frustration is not of him. Keeping my mind and energy strong by depending on him to strengthen me. I recommend you follow these guidelines too. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Stay Close to Jesus/God even When Building Your Business

So many speakers suggest we are in a holding pattern, perhaps being tested, perhaps building character for that one day big assignment. 

That kind of thinking helps many, but reality is, not all will get bigger assignments. If they decide today is just training ground, will they miss the value of today? 

What if today contained your biggest assignment? What if all the other years of happiness, education, grief, and struggle culminated together so you could do one important thing today. You may know what that important thing was or you may not see it. 

Don't spend your time waiting for something bigger. Do all you can do today with the energy you have. Trust God to use you. 

How do you start your day? 

I start mine inviting God into it. I ask him to plan my day and put his thoughts into my mind. 

One woman said she runs her life by checklists. She's driven. But, alas, by Monday, she feels flat because even her spiritual life and weekend has been merely something on a checklist. She's more or less running her life on maintenance mode while supposedly building her home business. 

Do you live that way? Driven by checklists and evaluations? 

I'd like to suggest if it isn't working for you, if you don't have peace that comes from knowing God, that you remind yourself of these Bible truths: 

"But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these. things shall be added unto you." (Matt 6:23)

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." (John 15:1-4 NIV)

This verse is pretty clear that your checklist will get you no-where without giving the vine (Jesus) authority to direct you. Take time to be with Jesus/God every morning. Be flexible to change your schedule. One day all you do will no longer matter. What you do for God will matter. Do your best right where God has placed you and learn to live by the checklist God impresses you with. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Christian Woman, Are You Flexible and Surrendered?

Being flexible is an important trait to develop. With technology's rapid advancement and the affects social media has on culture, ways of doing business and living life are changing rapidly.  

Many people work via the cloud either from a home office or remotely in some other way.  You can take your tablet or laptop to work by the pool (although it's hard to see the screen in the sun) or to the local coffee shop to browse or complete work for pay.

Old boundaries have changed. It's no longer a 9 to 5 kind of life for many. For myself, as a freelance writer, I often do my best writing at night. When I did transcription for a company on the west coast, my projects arrived at noon my time. Then I worked until at least 8:30 each evening.  The downside of this new way of living and doing business, is many individuals are always on call. Those with cell phones and many contacts they've given their cell number too feel as though others think they can text at any time. So setting new boundaries is important. I'll list a few ideas later. 

Do Your Ideas Fit?

Being flexible means being open to new ideas. That shift can be hard for many. Some of us had preconceived ideas about life and now find those ideas don't fit. The first thing we need to do when we find this kind of dilemma is to check our flexibility level, then check our barriers to change. Then we need to simply surrender our preconceived ideas and submit them to God. 

If you're a Christ follower, you can be sure God is still in control of your destiny. He knows how jarred you feel at times. He knows the path he wants you to walk. 

Humble is Good

I have found, as an older woman now, that I don't know everything though I sometimes think I do. I am okay with saying "I don't know."  I'm okay to let things play out instead of trying to force my agenda. Life as a believer in Jesus requires constant surrender if we're to walk through the fast-paced life ahead of us well. 

Being flexible doesn't mean we discard everything we've done to-date--our education or the attributes and relationships we've developed so far--in order to take on a completely new role.  Rather, it means building on what we already have and who we are. God's word tells us wisdom comes with age. Someone needs your wisdom.

I'm convinced God wants us to grow and change with the times and to fill new niches as he opens them.  When one path doesn't seem clear, keep one window open to it.  Let God decide when it is time to close it completely or to unfold something bigger. 

Check your thinking on this flexibility issue by answering these self-coaching questions: 
  • Do you welcome change?
  • Are you convinced God is still in control of your life? 
  • What flexibility has God required of you lately?
  • What expectations need to shift? 
  • What in your life skills can you build on?

Boundary Setting

Being flexible doesn't mean you throw caution to the wind and stay available to everyone. Boundaries are still important. Sticking to your morals and values as spelled out in God's Word is important. 

My husband and I are still owners of a landline. I had a cell phone for the children's key years where I'd need it to let them know I'd arrived to pick them up. My husband has a cell phone covered by his employer. We made the decision not to give out our cell numbers to everyone. Hair dressers, service people, physicians and the like can leave messages on our landline.  I use a tablet and a laptop. I input my appointments into outlook on my laptop. It works for me. 

After the children graduated university, I rarely used my phone except for taking the odd photo. So I gave up my phone and save about $80 a month in so doing. 

I am not constantly available as many are and I love it. It's a boundary I've set. I'm not saying my way is the right way, it's just what I've chosen to do for now.

Here are a few more boundary setting ideas you might consider:
  • Decide what things are upsetting to you and be aware they are areas you may be weak and need to set a guard. That means, preventing yourself from being exposed to these areas more than necessary. I don't watch the news or read the news on the Internet because I know it brings me down. 
  • It's okay to let voicemail answer the phone.
  • It's okay to have caller ID.
  • It's okay to say no to invitations or to only agree to what works for you. For instance, a party I've been invited to will be 2 to 10 pm. That's longer than I want to spend so I will go for 2 hours only. 
  • Be wary of great ideas others have. I have a saying I follow, "Just because I can doesn't mean I should." You don't need to copy what others are doing or be a part of everything. 
So my encouragement to you is to stay flexible. Stay encouraged. Set boundaries.   Surrender to God. Stay humble.

Let me know what windows you may be looking into right now, if it's appropriate.

 "put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator" (Col 3:10 ESV).