Lately I have become very hypersensitive to my kiddies and their behavior. I wouldn't ever call them ill-behaved (okay maybe sometimes) or bad children...because they are simply that, children. They are still learning tact and manners and etiquette. And while I wish that I could instruct them once on how to be proper and they would remember, I have to realize that these are things that take time and practice to learn.
Fast forward to yesterday. I had to stay home from church with two of my "pukers" while the rest of the fam went to church. The house was eerily quiet, but I decided to take advantage of the peace and silence and just sit down and think...about random things like: how good a double/double from In-n-Out sounded, and how awesome this family tree/picture frame ditty from Rod Works would look on the wall down the hallway, and why, for the love, I haven't been able to trim off the unsightly fat pockets on my hips after weeks of working my buttocks off at the gym (or apparently not working off). Ya know good sabbath day thoughts, but...then I was struck with an idea. At the time I wasn't even thinking about the kiddies or this issue with their behavior, but for some reason the idea popped right into my head.
I don't know if you mommy's have these kinds of problems at home, perhaps it's just us. But I've become quite fed up with them and the stroke of divinity yesterday helped give me perspective.
My children are, to put it bluntly, LOUD. Just generally loud. They WALK loud, they TALK loud, they even SLEEP loud sometimes (just the occasional sleep talking/laughing). And I finally explained to them that there has to be moments of quietude, not just because momma will have a nervous breakdown, but also because it's hard to feel the holy ghost when the walls are shaking from all the noise. I've tried to make them mindful of this by simply saying "useless noise" when things get too loud. And, surprisingly, the decibal levels have tapered down a bit. It could still use some improving, but we are working on it.
The next big issue (and probably the bigger of the two) I have been addressing, but not making much progress on is "graciousness" in thought and deed. And it's got me a little concerned. I have caught my kiddies saying some very... "not nice" things to each other and it kind of hurts my heart to see that kind of interaction take place. Sometimes it's not even what they are saying, but how they are saying it...their tone of voice as it were. I mean, where did my kids pick up such sarcasm...uh hum?
As I was saying, the way my kids say things leaves a lot to be desired. And I have been wracking my brain on ways to help encourage more grace, both in speech and action. I've tried quiet, loving, little reminders like saying "be gracious" when I would see something rude or verbally clumsy take place, but I was just not getting the results, or the response I wanted. Which brings me to my heavenly little moment yesterday.
While I was sitting...pondering yesterday, I had the idea that for FHE tonight we would have a lesson on charity. We would talk about Jesus and how he was the perfect example of unconditional love...and grace. (I mean when you think about it, Jesus had a lot he could have complained about or gotten angry over...and not dumb things like who gets to use the yellow plate at dinner (you'd be surprised, but this little issue has resulted in many a shouting match...and even the occasional UFC fight) or who gets to watch the T.V. next).
We would discuss how many people said and did mean things to Him, yet He remained "gracious". Though He was surrounded by negative people, people who hated Him, He still found the positive in them.
And then, after discussing Christ and His perfect example we would all take turns telling each other what we like about each other...pay each other compliments. (I know it sounds ridiculous, but I don't think my kids have ever learned how to pay someone a compliment. I never thought it was something you needed to be taught, but apparently it is). The point of this activity being that everyone has something good and positive to offer...you just have to find it. Be positive, uplifting, gracious. And though it may be hard you do it any way becuase it's what is right...it's what Jesus would do.
In my mind I picture the perfect conclusion to our FHE...with the kiddies little halo's restored; shining brightly and perfectly above their little heads. I know that isn't realistic...you can't actually SEE people's halo's.
And, as a final test, I will challenge them to try and see the good in everyone they meet. I will encourage them to practice what we've learned by saying and doing only things that are kind...gracious.
AND...if I see any noticeable improvement by the time we have FHE again we will all go out to FUGI...and practice using our newfound grace (that part wasn't inspired...well, it was inspired by me, or my tummy rather).
I hope it works, cause it's all I got. I'm hopeful. I think they will be motivated...if not to be a better person, than to go out to dinner at least. I'll make sure to post the results.
And, if any of you wise souls have any advice or suggestions that might help my cause, I'd love to hear em.
By the way, have I told you how lovely you look today!!!
A video I found on lds.org that will also be part of FHE. It tugged at my heartstrings...I will not lie. Be prepared to shed a tear...or two.
Example of the Believers