Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:53 AM 0 comments
I overheard someone the other day say, "It's a true story, isn't it?" and it got me to thinking. Now, I'm one that loves a true story. I'm interested in people, in things they've had to deal with and how they've dealt with them. It's just the way I'm made. I'm also one who loves to get involved in people's lives, but I wonder, how often are we really willing to get involved with each other. Because getting involved with one anther can often be messy and painful.

It can also be super-rewarding. If you've read my blogs for a while, or know me very well, you know that I'm a big advocate of getting involved with other people, joining together, working together, and supporting each other - especially as moms. With our mobile society it's really easy to access people and be peripherally involved with them - we can email, text, facebook, etc. - but often more difficult to really be involved. We're so busy and mobile that it takes a greater effort to have a real conversation, to get together, and spend quality time in a quality relationship.

Yesterday I had one of those days where I reaped the benefits of my life overlapping with others. It brought to my mind again how much worth the effort it is to build and foster relationships with people. First, a couple of family members stopped by just to visit with my children. After a morning of breakfast, getting everyone ready, and doing school work. it was nice to have the kids entertained while I finished up some laundry and started lunch. Then my older two children went for their regular Tuesday playdates while I completed some work and started dinner. One of my friends offered to let me use her nice, new, large-capacity, front-loading washing machine to wash my comfortor in (my washing machine ate my last comfortor.) So that washed while the kids played and I fixed a little extra dinner to carry over in return. Then my in-laws came over around dinner time, hung out with us, and played with the kids while I cleaned up after dinner. Then my husband and I tag-teamed the kids for baths, bed and a little more school work. It was a busy day, which isn't unusual, but it was also a day that was fruitful in chores and relationships.

Being a(n almost full-time) stay-at-home mom there are many days that I have that are totally engrossed in housework and child care. Alone. Solo. Isolated. Now, don't get me wrong. I have enough introvertedness that some of those days are good, too. But I definately miss the interaction and relationship with others. I believe that's because we were made to live in relationships with others, to intertwine our lives with theirs. Of course it can get messy and painful, but it is also rewarding and fulfilling.

Jesus said "love each other" (John 15:12, 17) and "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 19:19.) I believe that means getting involved, serving, meeting needs, laughing with, crying with, and being a part of peoples lives. These are the things that can never be measured, but are worth more than any material thing any one of us could ever possess.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Words Count

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:17 PM 1 comments
I got my daughter to throw something away the other day. Now for many that may not seem like a feat, but for me it was. It was monumental because she didn’t throw a tantrum about putting something in the trash can. And even more amazingly it was an actual toy, not just some random piece of paper or dodad that we were getting rid of. Now I have to give a little background for this to make a little more sense.

My five-year-old gets very attached to things. I generally have to hide something for a week or more to see if she asks for it before I throw it away. If she finds anything in the trash that used to belong to her (whether it’s a broken toy, scrap piece of paper she colored a year ago, or an empty drink bottle she decided to “paint” one day) she’ll rescue it immediately. And to get her to get rid of anything is like pulling teeth. So, one this day I was amazed that she not only refrained from throwing a fit, but she also placed the offending item in the trash herself. What was the difference? The words I used.

The offending toy happened to be a person. The poor soldier had already lost an arm and a leg, and now he’d broken off his platform that made it possible for him to stand. So I told my daughter that I thought he’d had a rough enough time and that maybe we should bury him. And for some unknown reason it was okay since we were burying him instead of throwing him away.
As I continued my chores this minor little incident in our day got me to thinking. I know that word are powerful. I thrive on words. I enjoy reading and am passionate about writing. Words teach us, instruct us, entertain us, hurt us, and heal us. Often, however, I forget how powerful my words can be with my children.

We are very aware, for the most part, what we say to and around our children. There are certain words that are banned from our house. We try to teach our children the proper context to use words in and never shy from using $50 dollar words to stretch their understanding of their world. Even as careful as we are in what words we use and how we use them, we still sometimes slip up.

Much beyond this small incident that reminded me that the words I use can make changes in my children’s behavior, it reminded me the importance of being aware of words I use with my children that may impact how they view themselves, their world, and their God. We’ve all heard parents say things to their children in public that have made us cringe, but behind closed doors there’s no one holding us accountable except ourselves and the Holy Spirit (if we’re tuned into Him.) I’m grateful that I’ve had this reminder of the power and impact of words I use so that I can evaluate everything I say to my children to make sure that it is right, true, encouraging, and builds them up.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I overheard someone the other day say, "It's a true story, isn't it?" and it got me to thinking. Now, I'm one that loves a true story. I'm interested in people, in things they've had to deal with and how they've dealt with them. It's just the way I'm made. I'm also one who loves to get involved in people's lives, but I wonder, how often are we really willing to get involved with each other. Because getting involved with one anther can often be messy and painful.

It can also be super-rewarding. If you've read my blogs for a while, or know me very well, you know that I'm a big advocate of getting involved with other people, joining together, working together, and supporting each other - especially as moms. With our mobile society it's really easy to access people and be peripherally involved with them - we can email, text, facebook, etc. - but often more difficult to really be involved. We're so busy and mobile that it takes a greater effort to have a real conversation, to get together, and spend quality time in a quality relationship.

Yesterday I had one of those days where I reaped the benefits of my life overlapping with others. It brought to my mind again how much worth the effort it is to build and foster relationships with people. First, a couple of family members stopped by just to visit with my children. After a morning of breakfast, getting everyone ready, and doing school work. it was nice to have the kids entertained while I finished up some laundry and started lunch. Then my older two children went for their regular Tuesday playdates while I completed some work and started dinner. One of my friends offered to let me use her nice, new, large-capacity, front-loading washing machine to wash my comfortor in (my washing machine ate my last comfortor.) So that washed while the kids played and I fixed a little extra dinner to carry over in return. Then my in-laws came over around dinner time, hung out with us, and played with the kids while I cleaned up after dinner. Then my husband and I tag-teamed the kids for baths, bed and a little more school work. It was a busy day, which isn't unusual, but it was also a day that was fruitful in chores and relationships.

Being a(n almost full-time) stay-at-home mom there are many days that I have that are totally engrossed in housework and child care. Alone. Solo. Isolated. Now, don't get me wrong. I have enough introvertedness that some of those days are good, too. But I definately miss the interaction and relationship with others. I believe that's because we were made to live in relationships with others, to intertwine our lives with theirs. Of course it can get messy and painful, but it is also rewarding and fulfilling.

Jesus said "love each other" (John 15:12, 17) and "love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 19:19.) I believe that means getting involved, serving, meeting needs, laughing with, crying with, and being a part of peoples lives. These are the things that can never be measured, but are worth more than any material thing any one of us could ever possess.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Words Count

I got my daughter to throw something away the other day. Now for many that may not seem like a feat, but for me it was. It was monumental because she didn’t throw a tantrum about putting something in the trash can. And even more amazingly it was an actual toy, not just some random piece of paper or dodad that we were getting rid of. Now I have to give a little background for this to make a little more sense.

My five-year-old gets very attached to things. I generally have to hide something for a week or more to see if she asks for it before I throw it away. If she finds anything in the trash that used to belong to her (whether it’s a broken toy, scrap piece of paper she colored a year ago, or an empty drink bottle she decided to “paint” one day) she’ll rescue it immediately. And to get her to get rid of anything is like pulling teeth. So, one this day I was amazed that she not only refrained from throwing a fit, but she also placed the offending item in the trash herself. What was the difference? The words I used.

The offending toy happened to be a person. The poor soldier had already lost an arm and a leg, and now he’d broken off his platform that made it possible for him to stand. So I told my daughter that I thought he’d had a rough enough time and that maybe we should bury him. And for some unknown reason it was okay since we were burying him instead of throwing him away.
As I continued my chores this minor little incident in our day got me to thinking. I know that word are powerful. I thrive on words. I enjoy reading and am passionate about writing. Words teach us, instruct us, entertain us, hurt us, and heal us. Often, however, I forget how powerful my words can be with my children.

We are very aware, for the most part, what we say to and around our children. There are certain words that are banned from our house. We try to teach our children the proper context to use words in and never shy from using $50 dollar words to stretch their understanding of their world. Even as careful as we are in what words we use and how we use them, we still sometimes slip up.

Much beyond this small incident that reminded me that the words I use can make changes in my children’s behavior, it reminded me the importance of being aware of words I use with my children that may impact how they view themselves, their world, and their God. We’ve all heard parents say things to their children in public that have made us cringe, but behind closed doors there’s no one holding us accountable except ourselves and the Holy Spirit (if we’re tuned into Him.) I’m grateful that I’ve had this reminder of the power and impact of words I use so that I can evaluate everything I say to my children to make sure that it is right, true, encouraging, and builds them up.
 

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