Thursday, August 2, 2012

One on One with Joanne Cole

We were privileged to host my Aunt Joanne at the last Capital MOMS brunch. She is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of one and our Women's Ministry Director. Talk about experience. She's got it. I don't think I'm speaking for myself when I say I walked away with some great goals and reminders! I hope if you weren't able to make it, that you find this somewhat helpful or encouraging.

Here is a little recap from my perspective. If you attended and got something else I didn't include, please share! I love how God speaks to each of us in different ways through different people. 

What would you have done differently as a young MOM?
1. Take more time for yourself.
If you don't cut out the time for yourself, nobody else will. You need some alone time to keep sane. And when talking about alone time (this doesn't include 1 minute in the bathroom with kids banging on the door). Get a hobby. Find something that inspires you. Speaking for myself here, I forced myself to join a neighborhood bunco group that meets once a month for some me time. My husband agreed to the terms before I threw it upon him, but each Monday when I get to escape - I feel a little more peaceful. It doesn't hurt that I've taken home some extra cash almost every time too. Maybe that's God's way of telling me I'm doing the right thing by taking some time for ME.
~ Time for yourself even includes time with God. Don't set unrealistic goals. Try a Proverb a day. If today is August 2- read Proverbs 2. Proverbs is the book of wisdom. 

2. Laugh more! 
Not everything in life has to be serious. Yes, you are shaping your little kids minds and challenging them to grow each day, but it's ok to laugh in some moments that could make you cry. I loved Joanne's example about the rafting trip. (If you weren't there on Sunday, ask her to tell you sometime). Life goes by too fast to not find joy and humor in your kids. Even when they embarrass you, just laugh!

3. Give each other a break!
No one is called to be a mom to your child(ren) except you. Instead of judging another for their decision in raising a child, let's begin applauding each other. Let's affirm and encourage each other. 

4. Enjoy each space and phase of development.
Be present at each moment. Stay engaged. Love every moment, because before you know it, they will be graduating high school and college, moving out, and getting married. It's ok to look with excitement to the phases ahead, but once you are there, you can't ever get the past phase back. Know that every season ends. The season of infancy with exhaustion ends. The season with temper tantrums, the terrible 2's and 3's ends. So don't wish it away too fast. **Keep from being weary: You can do anything knowing it's temporary.

What do you feel you did RIGHT as a young MOM?
3 John 1:4  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Point to Note:
Strengths carried to an extreme can become a weakness 

1. Be generous with your time. 
Stay up late for those talks on their schedule. Play outside with them instead of laying on the couch. Take time to create an activity they would enjoy. Go to the park. Sign them up for a sport they would enjoy.  

2. Work hard at being consistent.
Their attitudes will line up with their actions. Character with conduct. Beliefs with behavior. Be consistent even if you feel like you are a nag. How many times did you feel your mom was ever a nag? Don't you respect her now?  Save "no" for what really matters. Say "yes" as much as you can.

3. Take the time to explain "why."
Use opportunities as they come as teaching opportunities. Know too- you don't always have to teach to be a consultant. Pushing in the right direction without forcing. Be honest and open. Kids thrive on honesty and relate to you when you are willing to relate to them.

4. Peace is a great indicator of being where you are supposed to be. 
If your home is chaotic, you just might be out of balance. When there is disruption in the home, it starts affecting attitudes. You can learn when to say "no" to outside things when your home isn't peaceful. 

I'm sure I'm missing something. Regardless, lessons were learned. Growth continues.

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