This week has seen a lot of changes for us. Curly’s first full week home from school. I decided not to plan too much knowing we all needed to take time to adjust and get into a new routine. I’m great with WANTING routines, but pretty bad at implementing them… So, I’ve been thinking about how to EFFECT the necessary CHANGE in our every day!
Yesterday, we spent TWO HOURS in the girls’ room. The girls made their bed and then everything that was out of place was thrown onto the bed. It was a pretty big pile. I know I’m not the only mom with kids who make messes – but I am a mom who is not going to keep cleaning up every mess they make. So today – we took time to establish what “clean” means for us and how to make it happen. I had to ask them to pick up one thing at a time and put it where it belonged. Clothes – clean or dirty? Dresser or laundry basket? Shoes – in a lineup to get them matched up. Toys – in the toybox. Broken toys, papers, miscellaneous items – into the trash. And although they grumbled at times – and took their sweet time – it got done and they were PROUD of their hard work. Next week, we are going to officially begin a schedule & chore charts so they can begin earning an allowance. Not only will they have an opportunity to earn an allowance, but they will also learn to pay for things they tear up (like lipstick or notebooks or plants outside) and we will begin teaching and they will begin learning responsibility in a whole new way this summer.
At the same time, I’ve been participating in the Warrior Prayers 21 Day Challenge. It started Wednesday – and let me tell you – it’s powerful. It’s also very time-consuming. The challenge consists of praying a number of Scriptures. Ten times every day for 21 days. I’m not complaining – that’s just the reality of it. Thankfully, because of Alle (over at The Cozy Nest) who is leading a group, and sending reminder emails – I have no excuse to skip a prayer time or put it off for any reason.
The first day was praying for Heart Change. No matter what we teach – as parents – our children have to choose to obey. We can lead them – we can instruct them – we can guide them – we can correct them when they are wrong. But ultimately, their choices come from their hearts – and only God change change their hearts. One of the most important prayers to pray was that I would do my part in teaching and living out God’s Word – but asking God to create the changes in Little Man’s heart so he will be a man after God’s own heart.
Create in Little Man a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within him. (Psalm 51:10)
The second day was praying for Submission to Authority. Now I could not pray these prayers – all Scripture verses substituting Little Man’s name in the appropriate places – without applying them to my own life. This is why this challenge is so powerful. I cannot pray for these things in my son’s life – in my children’s life – without praying the same for myself. I must be willing to submit to the authority figures God has placed in my life so I can live out what I need to teach… sigh.
May Little Man submit himself to the Lord. (2 Chronicles 30:8)
And let me just tell you. Submission is NOT “my thing”…
But if I want my son to submit to authority – I must also submit to authority. So God is working in me as I get on my knees and lift my son up to Him. And my daughters. And even my husband. These prayers are God’s own Words – so although the book and challenge were specifically written for parents of sons – the Scriptures are absolutely appropriate for the entire family.
It would be easy to allow them to become rote. But I find that I’m convicted as I pray them – silently or out loud – and when I put my hand on each child as I pray – it becomes a whole new thing.
Today’s prayer is for Integrity. Ohhhh – in this easy come, easy go world, Integrity is hard to find. I pray that my son is a man of Integrity. That he means what he says. Does what he says. Is honest and hardworking. That He has a heart for God and becomes a man after God’s own heart. That when he stumbles, he seeks forgiveness immediately.
May Little Man show himself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in his teaching show integrity, dignity. (Titus 2:7)
There is no way I can pray these things without yielding myself to the Lord and asking Him to change ME first, so that I can be made righteous, and that my prayers for my son (and daughters and husband…) would be effective. And that GOD Almighty would effect these changes in each member of my family.