I don’t think the title of this chapter, “Getting in Step with God” is all that indicative for what the chapter is about. This is the sixth chapter of our virtual book club book, “A Mother’s Heart.” (Click HERE to learn more about the virtual book club + grab our first book HERE.)
In case you missed it, here are the previous chapters:
- Chapter 1: A Call to Mothers
- Chapter 2: A Vision for the Task
- Chapter 3: What Values are Really Important
- Chapter 4: Start with Yourself
- Chapter 5: God’s Part, My Part
But just because it’s not indicative, doesn’t mean I didn’t love it.
In fact, this has been my favorite chapter thus far, which gives me a feeling of relief since I’ve been struggling with the book a little. (I felt like I finally had something to connect with the author on when she stated on page 89-90, “When we were missionaries in Okinawa our children included a three-year-old, a two-year-old, and an infant. In those days I considered brushing my teeth recreation. Free time was nonexistent. I never had time for everything I felt I should do, let alone the things I wanted to do.” <- Me. Every. Single. Day. Add Mommy Spoonie on top of it, and most days we should all just be thankful the kids are fed and loved.)
For my blog, I keep a full content editorial calendar. On this calendar, I have tabs broken out by month, date, topic, keywords and more. I also have a tab for new ideas so all my content ideas are in one place for when I am feeling stuck. On that list, still yet for me to develop and write about, was a topic around how no two children are the same.
I’m totally killing two birds with one stone today because this chapter is exactly about that.
But here’s the thing. I’ve avoided developing and writing the post because I wasn’t sure the angle I would take. I have been super, duper struggling with a personality trait one of our children has. I have searched high and low for something to come to me that would make sense, and not only allow me to deal with it but deal in the best, most positive way for that child.
Prior to reading this chapter (as in like 4 hours prior – literally!), I told Ryan, “I think I have it figured out. Here is what is going on, and here is what we need to do.” I didn’t know how or by what measures we would actually practice what I had figured out, but it has all become so much clearer.
Getting in Step with God
When it comes to embracing that no two children are the same, here were a few things from this chapter that helped me a ton and left me thinking.
- “For every weakness you identify in your child, try to pinpoint corresponding strengths. Focus on the positive possibilities, and help your child recognize and develop his potential.” (page 87)
- I have been focusing on this child’s weakness far too much. In fact, it has been stress bottleneck for me. I dwell on it, and I’ve had a really hard time dealing with it. The behavior is far from my natural tendencies and desire to want to feel loving and kind. But the truth about this weakness is that not only is it a behavior that I believe one day could be a blessing, but also a behavior that is, at my core, so similar to me.
- “Like a sculptor, we must try to see the final form straining to break out of the uncut stone.” (page 89)
- I see these behaviors minute in, minute out, but what I’ve failed to do is to see where this child might end up given the full set of wheels to do so. Like most things, again, missing the forest for the trees.
- “Perhaps it was the tone of Linda’s voice, or her facial expression, but Phillip seemed to grasp what she was saying. It was a turning point in their relationship.” (page 93)
- Bingo! And this one is key, but was something I had begun to see for a few days prior to reading the chapter. The approach, our approach is key. It’s kind of like what I wrote in Change We Resist, the “boyfriend” will never change, but we can.
And finally, when I needed it in front of me most, a verse from the Bible appeared (page 82), “Do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands?” (Isaiah 45:11)
This child of ours needs something the other two don’t (or have not up until this point), and while it might be frustrating and make me want to cry almost daily, it’s “normal” because, even in the most extreme cases, no two children are the same.
But God made me the mama to all three of them, very intentionally and carefully.
He did the same for you.
- What is the most delightful thing about your child?
- Choose three words that describe your child.
- Pray through the section of this chapter titled Prayer and Planning for Mothers to Acknowledge, Admit, Accept, Affirm, and Ally yourself with God. What did you learn about yourself from this exercise?
- Do a Spiritual Inventory of your child.
p.s. Don’t ask me which child it is because that’s not important. I love my littles to the ends of this Earth. I mean, just look at them:)
You will heal. I will help.