Things I Learned In June

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Have you ever been over to Chatting At The Sky?
It is written by Emily Freeman who writes about things like grace and art and God-sized dreams
photo credit: chatting at the sky

Today she is writing about the things she learned in June.

She invited her readers to join in and share their discoveries too.

Here are five things I learned in June:

1.  I am unable to create the grace that I want to give my family.

This month, I finished reading Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.

He writes about  g r a c e   being the number one thing parents need to get right.
He encourages his readers to have strict rules where strict rules need to be established.
He also encourages his readers to allow children grace in the vast gray areas in life.

Grace to be the unique individuals that God created them to be.

If you know me then you know I am ALL about giving my daughters space to be their own quirky little selves:

 letting blocks become accessories

letting oven mitts stay on for days 

letting bedazzled cowgirl hats get worn to church

I want them to be free to be themselves.
In some areas, grace is easy for me to give.
In other areas, I have to scrape up grace and can't ever seem to find enough.

This month, while mulling over Grace Based Parenting, I realized
I am not capable of creating the grace that my family needs from me.
I am only capable of being a tool through which God can send grace.

This is pretty basic, right?
Everyone knows this already, right?
I get the feeling that eyes are being rolled and foreheads are being smacked.
Or maybe not.  
I don't know.
But this idea of not having to manifest grace is blowing my little pea brain.

Grace is something intangible and only able to be transferred through me:
from God, by the Spirit (thanks to Jesus) through me to others.

2.  Grace in action is when I address my daughter's feelings even when their feelings contradict reality.

I had a chance to put this idea into action.
One of my girls likes to wake up with the sun.
She literally hops out of bed, full of energy and plans and ideas.
Before I get both of my eyes open she is explaining the rules of some elaborate game she invented moments earlier.
Up until recently, the agreement was that if she woke up earlier that 7am
I would get her breakfast and put on a tv show and then return to bed until my alarm beeps at seven.
It was an early morning and I bent over to kiss her blonde tangles before returning to bed when she said,
"You love Hannah more than you love me.
When Hannah wakes up you stay up with her.  When I wake up I have to sit on the couch alone."
I could have explained that she wakes up at ungodly hours.
I could have reminded her that I am a better mommy when I sleep until seven.
I could have said any number of reasons why my sleeping for another hour did not mean I loved her less.
But instead, I remembered one way to put grace into action is to address her feelings even when they contradict reality.
I hugged her.
I told her that I loved her dearly.
I asked her how she would like for me to show her that I loved her.
Then, did what she asked.
I'm learning that arguing the point of reality against feeling is not always the way to handle a situation.
Maybe if I can change the bad feelings, the perception of reality will correct itself in the process.

3.  Teaching my children the difference between reporting and tattling.

My daughters are two and four and are perfecting the art of tattling.

"Moooooooo-ooooom, (fill in child's name) is (fill in any behavior remotely inappropriate) 
Every parent knows the special torture of this sing-song whine.

I was fumbling for some spectacular parenting strategy to stop the madness...
or at least slow my progression towards insanity, 
when the heavens parted, 
the sun shone and the angels sang
and I found this chart on Pinterest:

 I spent a few minutes talking about the difference between reporting and tattling.
I told them that if a behavior wasn't hurting themselves or someone else or dangerous or against the house rules then they should encourage their sister to make a good choice.

When I hear a tattle I've been asking, 
"Should you be tattling or should you be encouraging her to make a better choice?"

It's been almost two weeks and they are getting the hang of it.
Just this morning I heard my oldest say to my youngest
"Is it a good choice to put your toothbrush in the potty?"

4.  My youngest daughter's love language is physical touch.

Just this month she stated saying,
"Momma, fill me up with hold-me's".
I cant even handle the sweetness.

4.  The flower is actually pronounced "Zen-nee-uh".

Not "zee-nee-uh".

I'm still not completely comfortable with this.
I might plant something different next year so I don't have to feel irrationally uncomfortable about pronouncing the name of a flower.

5.  Phil Kaye performing "She Asks Me" is the best encouragement for when I'm feeling 
less and less like a poet 
and more and more like a wide-eyed, tounge-tied fool.

AMAZING, right?

What have you learned in June?


  1. I want to start a blog just so I can post a response for what I'm learning too! Loved hearing about your precious littles. They are so blessed to have you for a mommy.

    1. DO IT! :)
      I would love to be able to peek into what you are learning!

    2. I'm thinking about it. I just don't like to start things if I'm not sure I can stay with it!

      Also, I want to read that book! Let's bring books on vacation to trade, OK? I'm reading one I think you would really enjoy!

    3. Of course! I passed it along to another friend but they'll be done by then! :)

  2. Loved your list. Your girls are adorable, and I want that pink cowgirl princess hat!!!

    Stopping by from Emily's... :)

    1. 3D, Thank you! Link-ups are the best for finding blogs...looking forward to hopping over to yours and read! :) The cowgirl hat! hahaa! Those girls will wear it with anything all day, every day!

  3. love the pictures and the outpouring of new knowledge!!

    1. HisFireFly,
      Thank you! I'm loving writing down what I'm that when I forget it I have a reminder! ;)

  4. Hi Mindy! I'm visiting from Emily Freeman's link-up. I, for one, think that zinnias will always be zee-nee-uhs in my head. Anything else just seems wrong. Thanks for sharing your insight! I look forward to reading more of your posts :)


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