30: be encouraged.

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“It occurred to me that so many of the aspects of my life, my writing and my running and my relationships, are all flavored by my love for my children.
Where I had diluted areas in the past, I am now full concentration. Motherhood refines us. It forces us to refocus and reprioritize, leaving just enough room for what really counts.”

– Kristin Armstrong, Mile Markers

“Motherhood refines us.” I like that. It makes sense. As I’ve been working through this series it has been exceedingly evident. The things that will help ranger to be a better person are things that will make me a better person.

Work on your character together—show them that you’re not perfect, but that you care enough about their well-being that you’re willing to work on your own.

Do the Very Thing You Ask of Them @ Simple Mom

We have to be creative and work through situations to come up with better solutions as time goes on.

“Reworking [a challenging scene], thinking up other choices and anticipating possible outcomes is an interesting exercise. You might want to think about a situation with your own child when you lost your temper and you weren’t satisfied with the outcome, try to understand why your child may have responded the way he or she did and what you could have done to shift the energy in a more positive direction.
We have to check in with ourselves so we can become clear in our own minds on the limits we want to establish and the message we want to deliver. Setting limits is a way of showing respect for ourselves as well as our children; they are more effective when we set them before we are angry.
Parenting From the Inside Out

We get to decide how to focus our energy and how to improve our mothering.

“Right now, when they’re small, I need to be establishing mama trustworthiness. They need to know that I’m going to do what I tell them I will. And right now, they need to see me being exactly honest with what I tell them because I want them to trust me later, when things aren’t so simple seeming.”
My Lovely Sister, Amanda

We have to point them to Jesus.

In a healthy family, parents understand that they are to provide an environment and relationships in which the children’s needs are met. They remind children that Jesus is their Source of life, value and meaning. Rules are in place to protect the children and provide a structure in which to learn.
Families Where Grace is in Place

Especially when we’re not perfect. Which is never, in case you were wondering.

But Also remember: YOU ARE DOING A BETTER JOB THAN YOU THINK! and keep moving forward.

“This is my point no matter which temperament you lean towards: YOU ARE DOING A BETTER JOB THAN YOU THINK. The criticism in your brain can sometimes move you toward best practices, but it can also lie to you and probably is in numerous ways. You may need to step outside your mind and watch yourself for a few days – not just tuning in to the sharp moments but to the soft, tender ones, for I assure you they are there.”

“You are doing a wonderful job. Parenting is mind-numbingly hard and none of us will be perfect at it and all of us will jack a thousand parts of it, and somehow, against all odds, it will still be enough.”
Jen Hatmaker with Hope for Spicy Families

You are enough. You are being refined. You are doing a better job than you think. You are pointing your kids to Jesus.

Be encouraged.
—–
P.S. read the links. :) the last one is hilarious.

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