Week 4, Day 4
Heart: If I could go back in time, is there anything I would change? I feel like we, as humans, like to ponder this. We like to say we wouldn’t change a thing, but the truth is I would. Maybe nothing drastic, but if I could go back in time as the little bit older, little bit wiser me… I’d parent my oldest son differently. As we go through potty training for the second time I have found it to be unbelievably less stressful! Not only has he figured it out quicker and with less messes, but he’s doing it earlier and, in general, he’s way more stubborn! I think the biggest difference is my approach. I explained that rather than shame him with having to go back to a diaper if he has a mess, I just have him help clean up the mess he made. So, he feels the importance of not going pee in his pants and it makes my point, while leaving his precious heart intact. Oh if I could go back a few years and teach myself the importance of natural consequences. I could have saved my oldest son and myself a lot of tears and hurt. I always thought natural consequences meant doing nothing as a parent and just letting the chips fall where they may. What I’ve come to realize, though, is that in our house I sometimes have to ensure that the natural consequence happens. At two years old, cleaning up after yourself isn’t necessarily going to happen on its own, but it is the consequence for making a mess. As a mom I’m not going to leave the mess until it gets stinky and stains the floor because he didn’t clean it up. Instead, I’m going to ‘artificially’ provide him with the expectation that he help clean up to ensure that he feels that natural consequence. It has been so freeing to realize that I don’t have to make up ridiculous consequences. The absolute best part of using natural consequences, though, is that I get to share in my kids’ feelings. With natural consequences I get to say things like, “This isn’t fun, huh? I don’t really like having to clean up potty either, but if we make a mess, we need to clean it up.” I am allowed to be on their team instead of the one trying to control the situation and that had been the most powerful benefit of all! I may not be able to go back and change how I parented in the past, but I can do better starting now.
Soul: I like to take five minutes (minimum) in the morning to spend with Jesus. It’s necessary in a relationship to invest in spending time together. However, a good friend of mine challenged me a few days ago by mentioning that those five minutes are really for my sake, not His. She’s totally right! Jesus doesn’t wait until I have five minutes to join me in my day, He dwells within me and is part of every moment of every day whether I realize it or not. The five minutes in the morning is for me to sit in quiet, clear my head and focus on Him. This isn’t a bad thing, I need time away from distractions to spend with Him, but what would my life look like if I lived it like Jesus was always with me? Would I hold my tongue? Would I smile more often? Would I become less reactionary and more thoughtful? It would be a very interesting albeit difficult challenge.
Strength: I’ve been in denial about journaling. I’ve been trying to convince myself that there are steps I can take to get healthy and lose weight without logging what I eat. But nothing is as effective at helping me make better choices as having to stare at a list of what I’ve eaten. Nothing. I joined a challenge on MyFitnessPal and started recording my food for that and in two days I’ve realized that I have to log my food. It’s undeniable how effective it is for me, especially if I log it before I eat! I find myself changing what I was planning on eating based on the number of calories or, better yet, the nutritional composition of the meal (e.g. 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat). I know that journaling is key for me, but I so desperately want to find something easier. But, since when is changing lifestyle habits easy? I need to just suck it up and journal.