Death of a Dictator.

I was realizing recently that at times I feel more like a dictator than a mother. I'm shouting commands and giving orders like a drill sergeant:

"Eat your food."
"Put on your shoes."
"What do you want?" (often said from the bathroom )
"Don't hit your brother."
"Brush your teeth."
"Wash your hands."
"Don't shout." (said while shouting myself)
"Go potty."
"Time for homework!"
"Not so fast."
"Not so loud."
"I can't hear you."
"You can't wear that."
"Buckle up."
"Don't move."
"Quiet Please!"
"Who did that?"
"Stay RIGHT here!"
"Slow down."
and my favorite...
             "Hurry Up or We Will Be Late!!!"

It seems ridiculous now that I'm typing this out. But the question then arises: How do you manage a home and children without becoming a yelling, crazy mess? Where is the balance between getting much needed things done and creating a peaceful environment? I don't want to be a push-over but I also don't want my kids to fear me.

Look Lord, I laid 2 eggs today!
One of my children is a pleaser. This child strives to make me happy. They believe that by doing things I want done they will receive my favor. Oh what a dangerous thing. It's so easy to wrap up your identity in what you do. To equate a good day as a productive day.

Sound like anyone you've read before? Yeah, me.

I'm so quick to want to create order and in particular, perfection... and I also want to please people and make them happy. I do the same thing with God.

I see myself  as a little hen puffing my chest out with pride. Fluffing out my feathers. "Yeah, look at me. Do you see what I've done Lord? Aren't you pleased with me God? Don't you love me more now?"

my good works
And God the Father sees the crap I've done. Isaiah 64:6 compares my good works as filthy rags KJV compares our good works to dung! Yep, crap. I've been cleaning a lot of it lately because of our puppy. It's yucky and smells so AWFUL!!!! That's the best of the good I do. BUT- My worth isn't from myself... it's found in Christ. His righteousness is what makes me so valuable. His work is counted as mine. His purity is counted as mine. What I do on my own is rubbish. But His work changes everything!

(Philippians 3:7-11 ESV)

"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." (bold emphasis mine)

So I hope and pray that I put the dictator in me to death and that I can lovingly encourage and guide and train my children in the way God wants them to go. This time in life is crazy but I want to do more than survive these years... I want to thrive.


Sarah said…
Great post Jennifer - I concur! Gonna come back to this and read it on those days that end with the realisation that most of my words come from your list!

Thanks friend xxx
Mixue said…
A- men! As a substitute elementary school teacher, it's easy to just give commands and correction all day long. But how often do I actually notice when my students are doing something RIGHT and praise them for it? How often do I just ask about their weekend and actually listen?

Of course, correction is often necessary, but I often remember something one of my college professors said in an education course when I was training to be a teacher: "Look for something positive to say to each child every day. Even if the only thing positive you can think of is, 'Johnny, you're breathing very well today!' "

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