Monday, August 26, 2013

'Slow Your Role'...

My dear brothers [and sisters] take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”   James 1:19-20 (NIV)

Patience. It is one of the many things God has been working into me over the years. It’s something I prayed for when I was a little girl. It is something I still struggle with.

I desire to be patient, but there is a little part of me that always wants to know “when”…okay, and maybe “how” things are going to work out.  I find that this thing called patience…or the lack thereof, bleeds into all areas of my life. No one or nothing is exempt—especially my kids. 

My son Mikey is such a beautiful gift. He lightens me up in so many ways. He is calculated, yet free; cautious, yet zany. Although outwardly he is always on the move, inwardly he seems to be in no rush at all. And it is this late point on which we differ so much. 

I am naturally a go, go, go person---outwardly and inwardly. I find that I am often multi-tasking outwardly and focusing on several different things inwardly at the same time. I am often in a rush. I need to slow down. 

Mikey is never in a rush—never in a rush to put his shoes on, go to the bathroom, brush his teeth, put his clothes on, etc. He would be perfectly content to have all of the above be a process in which he takes several breaks (in the middle of each task) to stop and play with a toy.  He needs to speed up.

I have found that this difference in our personalites often gets my pressure pot cooking.  I have found that once again I need to stop and ask the Lord for wisdom and balance. I need to slow down a bit, AND I need to lovingly teach him how to pick up the pace. In fact, God has been showing me that when I slow down and exercise patience with him, I enjoy him a whole lot more.  I come to appreciate him for who he is…I tend to focus more on what he does right! On the other end of the spectrum, when I am moving far too fast, I tend to focus on what he does wrong. :(

I have come to realize that I need to be more of a teacher than a corrector. I want to train him up to be a man of God. My husband told me about a “Focus on the Family” broadcast he listened to recently. In the broadcast, the woman discussed how important it is to be wise and thoughtful in dealing with our kids. One thing she said that really got my wheels turning is that we often think we need to shape our kids, but we don’t. We need to unfold the person that God has created them to be. As I meditated on that, I realized that far too often I was trying to shape Mikey into a little me. I like myself as much as the next person, but we do not need another me walking around our house. ;)

In an effort to unfold him, there are three things I need to remember to do each day:

1. I need to be consistent. He needs to know what the rules are, and I need to enforce them so that I am not blowing my cool because “I have already asked him five times”. He needs to learn first-time obedience. I need to lovingly enforce first-time obedience. As my husband would say, “Don’t get angry and start lecturing the boy. Just write a ticket!”—a police metaphor for giving him a consequence (time out, take away the toy, no TV show that day, etc.) after he does not listen the first time.

2. I need to take the time to have meaningful dialogue with him. I sometimes need to know“why”  he behaved that way.  I know some may disagree, but I have often found that asking Mikey “why” gives me a glimpse into his heart. Sometimes he isn’t being defiant, sometimes I learn that he needs help or was confused about my directions. Other times, he is just curious to know how something works, so he stopped to analyze. Asking questions often helps me respond appropriately to the situation. It also gives him “grace to grow”.

3. I need to ask the Holy Spirit to fill me each day so I can be poured out instead of drained out. This beautiful thing called motherhood that was begun in the spirit needs to be continued in the spirit, not in my fleshly, fallen way. I need to daily spend time with the Lord so I can grow to be more like HIM. As I am filled with the love of the Father, I can pour that love out on my kids.

I pray that you and I will both seek to unfold our kids so that they can grow into the young men and women that God created them to be.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your incredible love and your incredible patience with me. Truly, I do not deserve it. Help me to extend that same type of patience to my kids so that they can grow in you, knowing that they are loved by both you and me as they grow and sort things out. Help me to be quick to listen and slow to become angry. Help me to do what I so often tell my kids—to not say anything if I don’t have anything nice (or loving) to say… so that in my rushing I don’t say something harsh. Help me to put you at the center of everything, and please help me to slow down. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Verses to consider:

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” Ephesians 7:8 (NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12


  1. Great post Teresa! Very encouraging! I was just telling Aliyah (in frustration) that I admired how she is so passive in life and has NO sense of urgency! (While I'm running around like a chicken with my head off) ;) Fran gave me a great idea. Use a cup and place a cotton ball in it every time the kids do first time obedience. Then when it's full to to the dollar store and they can pick one thing! It has done wonders here!xoxo

  2. Thanks for sharing Sheila. It's so funny...I blogged about that cottonball idea a while back. Mikey has actually asked to do that again. Great reminder to finish what I started and take my own advice. LOL Love you girl!