Monday, February 28, 2011

Let him be Daddy...

...sounds so simple, easy, and natural, right? I mean, you love a man, marry him, have kids, of COURSE you want him to be there for them as their daddy!! But I don't think it's always that easy for some of us.

We as moms are some of the most protective people in the world!! There's NOTHING we wouldn't do to protect our kids!!! I think that with a very few exceptions most moms in the world would willingly die - if necessary - to keep our children safe! That's kind of extreme, but that same care and protection carries over into the little, mundane, day-to-day areas of our kids' lives....are they bundled up enough to go out in the cold safely? Did they put something dangerous in their mouths? Are the older kids playing too roughly with them? On and on.

It's part
of our job as mothers to watch over our children and protect them in all these ways, but I think sometimes we take it too far...and an area we need to be especially careful in is protecting our kids from their daddies. I understand that some kids are in horrible
living situations and NEED to be protected from their fathers, but I'm talking about the little things. He's taking over're hovering near the door making sure he checked to make sure the water isn't too hot or cold, the soap isn't in the baby's eyes, he's not taking his eyes off the baby for a second, etc. He wants to spend some daddy/baby time keep checking to make sure the baby's dressed warmly enough, he's not letting the dog lick it's face, he's watching to make sure the baby isn't eating dirt or poisonous berries, etc. I think you get the idea.

The point is, I think we as moms tend to act like we have the monopoly on protecting our little ones, and that the dads need as much babysitting as the babies! They need to feel that THEY are also responsible for the safety and welfare of THEIR children! If they know that no matter what they do, you're going to be right there keeping an eye on them, they're going to feel like you don't trust them.

In my opinion, even worse than "hovering" is correcting. I know I've been guilty of this...not only do I keep asking questions to make sure everything is being done safely, I correct my husband if he's doing something "wrong" (translation - not necessarily "wrong," just not the way I would do it). If we're constantly giving dads the feeling that they're not good enou
gh to be trusted with their own children, or that we don't approve of their parenting methods, they will pull back defensively and just leave us to parent as we see fit...WITHOUT them. That's the LAST thing we want, right??!! I mean, we've already agreed that INVOLVED dads are the goal! But what if OUR attitudes or actions are what's keeping them from BEING involved (whether we mean it that way or not).

I think I'm pretty laid back as a mom, but I still catch myself either watching over things while Daniel & Kaleigh are together, or telling him what he's doing wrong with her. It's not that I don't trust him, it's just that I get used to things being done a certain way. I realized quite awhile ago that I tend to do this, so I've tried to loosen up and just ignore them when Daniel's taking care of Kaleigh. I KNOW that he knows what he's doing, I TRUST her with him COMPLETELY, so I've just decided to let him BE her daddy, even if he washes her hair differently than I do, or brings her home a little greasy and muddy from the farm, or lets her sip Mt. Dew once in awhile. When I catch myself about to say something to him, I stop and think, is this really worth it? Once in awhile there IS something important that I need to make him aware of, but I try to do it in a kind, informative way, so he doesn't feel like I don't trust him with his own daughter.

My mom and I actually talked about this before our daughters were born, and I really appreciated her sharing this thought with me early on. I think having this in the back of my mind has really been good for our family!! The longer we go, the less I even think about it when Daniel's in charge of Kaleigh. I understand that we're different people, so we're going to do things differently. However, I completely trust Daniel not to do anything that would jeopardize Kaleigh's safety or well-being, so I don't worry about the little differences in our parenting styles.

I'm really rambling on...I hope this is making sense to you! I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I LOVE watching my husband and my daughter together!!! I LOVE the way they love each other and want to spend time together. I don't want to do anything to damage the precious relationship they have, and I'm very thankful that I've backed off on things along the way that didn't really matter, but that could have hurt Daniel's confidence to just BE a daddy!! I know that not all of you are going to have a problem in this area, but it was just something I was thinking about and wanted to share. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

i'm still alive....

...I apologize for the loooooong period of time this blog has gone without a new post!! I'm sure most of you already know this, but in case you hadn't heard, we're expecting our 2nd daughter in June!! Needless to say this new development in my life has left me with much less time and energy to put into blogging...I'm sorry, and I'm really hoping to get back to posting more regularly! Most of my posts here are a result of one of those "lightbulb" moments where all of a sudden something just clicks for me, and I understand a new truth or have a new insight that I just can't wait to share with you all! Hopefully my tired, foggy, pregnant brain won't hinder those amazing moments, and I'm praying for God to give me another one soon that I can share with you! Thanks for your patience and understanding. :) I hope this new year has been a good one for you all so far!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Lesson From Job for Wives

This past week I attended my uncle's funeral. The pastor (who also happens to be my grandfather) at one point in during the service spoke briefly about Job, and all the challenges he faced..even having his best friends and his own wife turn against him after losing all his children, wealth, and his health.

I've heard the story of Job many, MANY times, so this was nothing new to me. However, one thing DID stand out to me...something I had never noticed before.

To recap the story briefly, Job's "crime" (or the reason that all these terrible things happened to him) was that he was righteous, loved and feared God, and lived his life in a way that was glorifying to God. Satan believed that he was only doing these things because God had blessed and protected him, and that if he were to lose all his wealth and possessions he would curse God and turn away from him. God knew Job's heart, so he gave Satan licence to do whatever he wanted to Job, even taking away his family and his health, as long as he spared Job's life. Satan didn't waste any time in hitting Job where it really hurt, in a single day wiping out all his flocks and herds and almost all his servants (except the few who escaped with
the bad news), and killing his beloved children. Then he covered Job with painful boils.

Now here's the part that really stood out to me this time!

"Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die." Job 2:9

Now, in the very few restrictions God gave Satan, I don't remember reading anything prohibiting Satan from killing Job's wife...after all, he killed all 10 of his children! Therefore, the only conclusion I can come to is that Satan knew that Job's wife, instead of being one of his joys and blessings, would be a stumbling block and discouragement to Job as he struggled to trust God in the midst of his sorrows.

Wow. As wives, we are supposed to be our husband's greatest encouragement, blessing, supporter, listener, friend, confidant, and so much more. If Job's wife had been all these things, don't you think she would have been one of Satan's FIRST targets? Instead, he knew that instead of taking her too, she would do Job more harm and damage if he left her alive!!

I don't know about you, but I know I don't always give my husband the support and encouragement he needs and craves. I tend to be a cruel realist when he comes to me with his plans and dreams, and instead of trying to find ways to encourage him, I'm more likely to shoot down his ideas with all the ways they WON'T work. I've never encouraged him to "curse God
and die," but I don't always encourage him spiritually as much as I could or should.

This new year I want to work harder at being my husband's refuge, where he knows he'll be safe from unnecessary criticism, and where he can always find love, support, and encouragement, both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I want to live in such a way that if Satan were to have the same chance with Daniel that he had with Job, I would be the FIRST one on his list of targets, not the one left behind as a tormentor!!!

If your husband were to honestly describe you as a wife, would he say you were better described by this verse:

"The contentions of a wife are a constant dripping." (Proverbs 19:13b, NASB)

or by this verse:

"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." (Proverbs 18:22, KJV)

I think we would all agree on which one we would WANT to be described as. :) Let's all work extra hard this year to be the "good thing."