Thursday, January 19, 2017
An Aha! Moment
For Christmas I got a book about my t.v. friends Chip and Joanna Gaines (pictured above). While I was reading it, I had an Aha! moment. Joanna shared an experience that helped me see a way that I could do better at getting my children to work with me. I already was hoping to "dare greatly" and ask them to help more -- but I have had that goal many times, and failed because there was the chance they might frown at me or complain, and I wanted to avoid that more than I wanted help -- though I might have gotten a little grumpy when I was cleaning up their messes!
Joanna told a story about a time when she was exhausted from cleaning her house all morning and she was lying on the couch getting frustrated at all of the things that were already messy again. Then she heard her four kids laughing in the next room. Suddenly she realized that she had been focusing on the wrong thing. She had been focusing on making her house look perfect, instead of the children down the hall. She determined that she would not clean during the day again -- at least not alone. She would clean with her children, or she would wait and do a quick cleanup after they were in bed.
Even though my kids aren't little like hers, and are often gone during the day, this struck me as a good way to think about things. I decided that I would not do cleaning without my children either -- unless it was my stuff.
Within a day or two I woke up to a messy house and got the kids off to school. As I walked around I kept grumpily thinking -- "I'll need to pick up those snow suits, do the dishes, put away all of the piano books, etc." In the midst of my grumpy thoughts I remembered that I wasn't going to clean up other peoples messes so much anymore. I all of a sudden enjoyed walking around with a smile on my face saying "I don't have to pick that up! That's not mine!" and I left it for when the kids got home.
Of course, this wasn't very successful because Kayli got home, couldn't take the mess, and she cleaned everyone's stuff up for them. We'll have to work on that. Somehow Joanna's story has helped me to brave the possible frowns, and to discover, that sometimes helpful smiles show up instead.