We have had the best week ever at the Ivey house! There have been lots of smiles and joy and fun around here! You see last week around Monday or Tuesday Aaron and I decided that we were doing this all wrong. That's a fun conversation to have with your spouse. All the ways you have failed and are continually failing as parents! Oh those are so not fun, but so worth it. Every single time we're on vacation without our kids we talk about parenting. It's good for us. We're away from them and can take a good step back and view it from fresh eyes. We truly want to be awesome parents.
Well last week we felt as though we were being too hard, and since I'm the parent that's with them the most a lot of that fell on my shoulders. My expectations have been through the roof for these kids. Now don't get me wrong, we have tons of fun around here and we're all crazy, but I had just become rigid in my parenting. Very rules oriented and less grace oreinted. I didn't like it, but once you get there guys it's hard to get out.
As I told you about the talk Aaron and I had in the dark, and I truly began praying each morning not so much for Story to obey and have a kind, obedient, and respectful heart, but get this …. I began praying for me. I was at a conference a few weekends ago and they asked us to answer this question: “What's wrong with the world?” I sat there and came up with so many things that were wrong with this world. Then they told us the quote from CK Chesterton when he asked that question he said that the answer is “I AM”. I am the problem. I am selfish. I look out for my own good. I desire to be greater than everyone else. I want more glory. We are all those things.
I wrote in my notes at the time this question. “What is wrong with my family?”. I then wrote in gigantic bold letters I AM. I am selfish. I am desiring more of me. I am looking out for my own good. I mean that's sin guys. We are all selfish human beings and without the grace and mercy of Jesus we're all screwed. Screwed.
I remember thinking about this last week as I prayed not for Story to be obedient, but for me to love her through her disobedience. I prayed for me to shower her with love, grace and mercy. Not to be a pushover, but to be Jesus to her. I prayed that I would remember she's 3 and I can't expect her to act like the boys because she's not 5, 6, or 7. She's 3. As I prayed that each morning last week things began to change. God began to show me times when I would have overreacted to a situation and instead I was calm and we talked through things.
Y'all I'm telling you it's like a miracle happened around here. Story has been obedient and happy and just plain joyful. Have we had melt downs and tantrums? Yes, it's still the same kid. But have we gotten through them better. For sure. Has she disobeyed. Yes, but we have handled it differently.
I guess my whole point is this friends, if you are struggling with one of your kids, pray for your own heart. Each kid goes through seasons of struggles. There have been times where it was Amos, Deacon or Cayden, but for us in this season it's Story. She is one strong willed woman and I truly LOVE that about her, but for now she needs to know that Momma and Papa are in charge. But guys this week I have changed my heart and she has followed my lead.
I can't expect her to be joyful if I'm not leading in that area.
I can't expect her to be gracious if I'm not leading in that area.
I can't expect her to be obedient if I'm not being obedient to God.
Oh how I'm thankful for a God who pursues us and allows us to come to him and say oh I need more of you because on my own I can't do that. I have felt that way this past week. I have felt myself saying, God if I do this how my own sinful nature wants to it's not going to be pretty. Help me. Guide me. Show me.
Happy Monday from a very happy Ivey house!!!
This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today! I focus so much on behavior, and I forget to pray for the state of their heart-and mine! Have you read “Give Them Grace”? It’s about avoiding legalism in parenting, and helping them see their need for Jesus (and mom and dad’s need for Jesus, too). Some neat things to ponder.
(By the way, I’ve been lurking on your blog for awhile. We met your husband when he led worship for our youth camp a few years back. Y’all were still waiting to bring your kids home at that point. We’ve adopted internationally since then, and I enjoy reading your point of view. Thanks for being honest!)
this is truly awesome.
Thank you Jamie!
jamie i love this! this is a great reminder! THanks sister!
Thanks for this. It was just what I needed to hear.
This is a wonderful post. Thoughts like this have been bouncing around our heads too and I thank you for the encouragement to pray for my heart to change and be the leader in the areas I desire see changed in my kiddos! Thank you for you honest and vulnerbility.
Wow! That is just what I needed to hear — not just about how I am as a parent, but as a wife, daughter, sister, friend. Stopping by from BlogHer! 😀
I had been thinking along these lines all weekend (the weekend of the 22-23) and then Monday morning read this blog post. Loved it. Thanks for the wisdom and the encouragment…needed it. Blessings
Good word today J.
Sure do love you.