Well after a relaxing day with Meme and Grampa Carlie we had to head back to our "reality" (see previous post). Actually the laundry, lone shoe, etc had been taken care of before we left our house the day before (more info on the kids' bedrooms to come). Jonathan and Madi are part of a book club at the library and had been assigned 9 chapters to read from the week before. Well here we were driving home Wednesday afternoon arriving in town "just in time" for book club (which ends "just in time" for AWANA). One of my kids had been able to finish the assigned chapters on the ride home the other had not . ( the one that didn't finish however is the one who flies through their AWANA memorization etc...the one who was "caught up" in the book is not so "caught up" in AWANA) All this to say I spent my drive home with this kind of conversation going through my head ("Do I expect too much of my kids?" "Do I expect too little?" "How can I get them to meet the deadlines of the activities they've committed to?" "How are they going to learn to do these things on their own without my prodding them?" etc...etc...) I had plenty of time to think and pray about all of this on the ride home because I couldn't be listening to our current book on tape because the book club book had to be read (in silence). All of those thoughts lead to the am I doing everything all right kinds of thoughts. I mean assuming every parent ever wanted nothing but the best for their kids why are there so many problems in this world? (my quick answer being a lot of those parents "missed something") Sooo, what am I missing? Are they going to turn out OK...etc...etc...?
So a quick drop off at bookclub, rush home to pull out somethings to donate to the AWANA yard sale, pick the kids back up, (they eat Wendy's in the car), and right to AWANA. Mike and Madi design and cut out her car for next week's AWANA race (I just realized I don't know how to spell the word "grand pre" grandprie? pree???). Then Mike and I were off to hear a speaker at our Church. What was she speaking on? Parenting of course! Coundn't have been better timing for me. This woman talked all about her 4 grown kids and how they weren't the "kids she ordered" when they were younger (they liked TV better than books, slept in yesterday's tshirt instead of jammies etc) yet they've turned out to be 4 people who she really enjoys spending time with (and they even married 4 people she enjoys spending time with). She spoke of one day years ago when she stood praying at the kitchen sink and she felt God tell her "you are not the mother they ordered either". She said how every night she would pray this prayer over each of her kids " Help me to be the mother they need". Here's where the kids messy bedrooms come into the story...she basically reccommended picking your battles and said she felt a disorderly bedroom just might be OK for preteens (and possibly part of their development). She told of the rules they had in there house and I've adjusted them a little and as of yesterday we are enacting this in our house...1. Clean laundry MUST be put away in drawers or hung in closet and dirty laundry MUST be put brought to the basket by the washer...this is to avoid the rewashing of the clean clothes. 2. There must be a clear path from the door to the bed (so Mom and Dad can get in to pray for/with the child) and a clear path from bed to window (she told her kids these were rules that the fire department had). Other then that the organization of the room is up to them. We'll see how this goes. I've added to this that they will be given even more responsibility to keep the rest of the house clean and in order, but I'm going to give them control of there rooms. I'll let you know how it goes.