Sunday, October 10, 2010

Starting this new parenting book...

So, I'm in this Moms group, and I love moms, and I love what we're learning about.

(I love non moms too, just a p.s.)

As I was reading from "Grace Based Parenting" by Tim Kimmel, a book I have not yet paid for, but WILL THIS WEEK- remember self! I came across a few interesting quotes that I want to hold on to, and this is quite an easy place to do just that.

As I'm thinking back to the conversations Jonathan and I had about starting a family I can remember something like this:

"So, you wanna make a kid?"
conversation OVER.

or perhaps...

"So, when we're parents, what do you think about discipline? Spanking, time-outs?"
"Remember when my mom quoted that scripture, 'Spare the rod, spoil the child,'?"
"Yup, I think in some circumstances, before our babes know what NO means, we're going to have to teach it somehow, I'm totally okay with spanking, in the right circumstance."
"Yup, me too, good call."
*And no, please don't try to debate spanking with me. We will use time-outs and all of those lovely parenting things too, geez louise.

or even...

"I hope we make cute kids."
"We will."
"No, I mean it, like I really hope our kids are super cute."
"They will be."
"Okay, I guess they'll be pretty cute, we were cute babies."
"Uh huh."
"Are you listening to me?"
"Uh huh."
"What do you want to name our kids?"
"Oh, I dunno, Noah, Brock, Harper or Brooke."
"Okay, I like those."
"What about Natalie?"
"Sure, that's cute."
"Well when are we gonna have kids?"
"When God gives them to us."
"You know, it isn't going to be easy. Have you ever held a baby?"

Ahh... the joys of being naive. Really, we knew a few things:
1- diaper changing isn't that bad
2- we're going to have to have a plan, sort of
3- we WILL get sleep
4- we will try to be natural parents
5- we will let our kids eat dirt.
6- we will delay vaccinations
7- we will kill out kids with kisses
8- we will still make time for each other
9- we will love our kids silly
10- we have no idea what is in store, except for that one weekend we watched Lexie, Hunter, and Callie, and THAT was FUN!!!

So, it may not come as a shock to anyone that we had no ideas of how we were going to sleep train our kids (until 8 months pregnant) or how we planned to parent in general. Basically, our plan was to love our kids like crazy, let them explore within certain bounds, let them learn from their mistakes and know that it is okay and we love them for who they are, not what they do, and to make sure that they learn the love of Jesus.

Well, in steps this book, and a few things that have my wheels turning.

"Since how children turn out is far more contingent on what is going on inside them
than outside them, unnecessarily tight boundaries undermine the desire of the Holy Spirit, who is working to build a sense of moral resolve in their hearts." Ah, to not keep our children on leashes, in a box, in a yard, with a 6 ft fence, with barbed wire and broken glass on top...

What about WHO we plan to live with other than family? "God left our families in communities to serve as porch lights, if you will, for the lost people around us. We are to be the steady flow that helps them find their way out of the darkness. When families are committed to being this light, they are inclined to live more intimately with Christ. They pray more, they study their Bibles more, they care for one another more, they reach out to their neighbors more."

It is going to be hard not to be fearful when I put Brookie on the kindergarten school bus to our neighborhood school, or let a teenager babysit her for the first time, or let her go to a sleepover, but "If we have put our faith in Him, we should be the last people afraid of just about anything!

I also find it interesting that many of us like to live by checklists, and I hope that I don't put that on my kids.
- said my prayers
- had a smile on my face all day
- spoke kindly to everyone
- said my prayers as lunch
- wore my WWJD bracelet

I don't want my kids to do this because it is on a list that they have to do, I want them to say their prayers because they KNOW God is listening and because he is their best friend. I want them to be kind and use nice words because they know that Jesus did that, they can wear the bracelet because they have a deep yearning to be like Him. Not because they have to put on a show for their friends or God, he knows it is just a SHOW!

I loved one part: "We start by surrendering our fears to the God who loves us and has a fabulous plan for our family." He LOVES us with such intensity that he doesn't want this to be a fight- he has the best plan for our family, we have to listen to find it.

I hope that we CAN be this home: "Children brought up in homes where they are free to be different, vulnerable, candid, and to make mistakes learn firsthand what the genuine love of God looks like."- I am still dreaming of what this looks like day to day, not just stating, "It's okay Brooke!" 100 times a day, but truly showing her that she is a creation of our God, and so I read "On the Night You were Born" to her every night. :)

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