Saturday, September 28, 2013

Second Chances

Now faith is assurance of things hoped for,
 a conviction of things not seen.
- Hebrews 11:1
"Mom, can I have a second chance pleeeeeaase!"
All too often I have heard my little guy use this line, as he realizes he is in trouble and needs some grace poured his way :) This quote came alive the other day as my kids and I ventured out to a park. My oldest son had been struggling, and was in need of a "second chance" as his morning hadn't gone smoothly. Our family definitely needed to get out for some fresh air. We decided to bring our bikes to burn off some energy!

As they headed out on their bikes, I felt the Lord nudge my heart and ask me to allow my oldest to go on a bike trail on his own. It was a familiar sidewalk trail, didn't go far, and I could watch him ride the circle as my youngest picked up "treasures" from the grassy area nearby. I was hesitant at first due to the morning we had had, but I obeyed and let my son ride on.

It was a beautiful experience. My son obeyed the rules of the sidewalk. He used self-control, had fun, and was smiling ear to ear as he approached me coming back! It took faith. I had to let go of previous days, minutes, moments that had gone wrong and look at the opportunity set before me, allowing him  to be "found faithful." As soon as he pulled up to me I gave him a huge hug and praised him for the great job he'd done' He was so proud that he accomplished it with no problems. This was huge for my struggling child. At that moment, he felt successful and he was.

God taught me 3 things from this experience....

1. Let Go
Easier said than done, right? Some days I find myself frustrated over that struggle my child had on previous day. I didn't let go of it. I am allowing past sin to hold my present day. This can cloud my view and blur my vision from starting each day anew. It is unhealthy for me. Unhealthy for my child. We have to remember to let go and forgive, truly forgive, our kids from the past error in their way. After all, that is what the Lord does for us EACH DAY, isn't it?

 Even though my son had struggled earlier in the day, I had to let go of it in order to move forward with good experiences that the Lord had in store...our bike ride.

2. Give Opportunities
Remember to give your child opportunities to be "found faithful." Its so important that our little ones see that we do believe in them. That little boost of confidence can go a long way. They want to please you, but sometimes (because they are sinners just like us) they fail. Think of ways you can stretch what they are already doing, make a big deal about it, and watch them soar. Give them an extra activity, task, or job to do that will allow their strengths to shine.

That bike path was just what my son needed. An opportunity to show himself that past failure is just that PAST. And that there are many opportunities for success no matter how many times we fall down. As he rounded the corner, my son's face spoke volumes of how much he loved the opportunity I gave him to be successful. 

3. Praise Them
Praise them. Praise them. Praise them. It's important that we be our child's biggest cheerleader. Believing the best in them. Sharing just how much they mean to their Creator, and to you too! Be sure to let them see, hear and feel (hugs are HUGE) just how blessed you are by their actions/behavior. We can be quick to point out the fault in our child, but hold back when we see them doing good. Don't do that. Allow the Lord to use you to lift up, edify, and encourage your little one as they walk in the right direction.

I need to praise my child more. Especially as I see him struggling much. His ears need to hear my voice sharing all the great characteristics I see in him. In those moments he is doing the right thing, allowing my heart to state truth. 

As my son jumped off his bike, I made the biggest deal about his obedience on the path. After leaving the park, I made sure to praise my son in front of my husband as well, letting him see that we are all so thankful that he was striving to do well.

How are  you doing in these areas?

Do you find yourself dwelling on past struggles of your kids? Give it to God. Ask Him to help you let go and move forward.

Look up something special your child can succeed at. Then praise them & their Creator for the great job they do!

"The master was full of praise. 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!" - Matthew 25:21

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