- Always use soft words, even when you don’t feel well.
- Always display kind actions and joyful attitudes, even if you have been mistreated. Have the right response by quickly forgiving others in your heart even before they ask.
- Always be enthusiastic and look for opportunities to praise others' character.
- Always deflect praise and be grateful to God and others for the ways they have benefited your life.
- Always use manners and be respectful of others and their belongings.
- Always do what is right, even when others may not, or when no one is looking.
- Thank God for how He made you, for what He has given you and everything He allows you to go through. (Romans 8:28)
- Don’t mock or put others down. Develop compassion and pray for others.
- Never argue, complain, or blame. Quickly admit when you have done wrong and ask for forgiveness (even if you were only 10% at fault). Don't wait till you’re caught. Be sure your sins will find you out. He who covers his sin will not prosper, but he that confesses and forsakes it shall find mercy.
- Have a tough accountability/prayer partner to daily share your heart with and to keep you in line (your parents, spouse). The power of sin is in secrecy.
- Be attentive and look for ways to serve others with sincere motives and no thought of self-gain.
- Think pure thoughts (Philippians 4:8, Romans 13:14).
- Always give a good report of others. Don't gossip! Never tale-bear unless physical harm will come to someone. (Use Matthew 18.)
- Never raise a hand to hit.
- Never raise a foot to kick.
- Never raise an object to throw.
- Never raise a voice to yell.
- Never raise an eye to scowl.
- Use one toy/activity at a time. Share!
- Do your best to keep your surroundings neat, clean and organized.
- Never let the sun go down on your wrath. (Don’t go to bed angry or guilty)
- Amendment J.O.Y. - Put Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.
The first line struck me more than anything. "Always use soft words..." And from what I've seen, they DO. It's probably the largest contributor to their house appearing to be so gentle and calm. (well, all things considered...there are a ton of louder little boys running around)
I'd love to institute this (and verbalize several of the others) in our home, but I think the soft words has to start with me. I think I've become much less reactive in the last few months, but I wish I had enough self control to not raise my voice. Ever. As unattainable as it seems, that actually is my goal.
#84 on my list of 101 Goals is to go a whole week without raising my voice to my kids. I was keeping track of my good days, but after 3 or 4 in a row, I'd lose my temper and have to start over. I stopped tracking much of anything while I had morning sickness, but what I've noticed recently is that when I DO lose my cool, I think to myself, "Wow - it's been a while since I raised my voice. I wonder if it's been a week?" And I notice that I generally raise my voice when one child has hurt the other and Mama Bear gets protective. So I AM getting better, considering I used to have hour by hour goals, not day by day!
I'm thinking this "use soft words" idea might work. It seems pretty universal and can replace my mantra of, "inside voices, please" which I say all. day. long. Plus, Kaylin's getting back into the bad habit of screaming (when she's mad, frustrated, feels mistreated) instead of using her words, so I've been actively trying to nip that in the bud.
There's always so much to work on. I feel this sense of urgency to correct certain behaviors before they become too "normal" for my kids. I let things go, don't get me wrong, but when I set my mind on retraining an issue, I give it my all.
I can blame the pregnancy all I want, but I'm starting to understand why I'm so tired all the time. I think my brain must hurt and wants a rest. Is it just me or does this parenting job seem constant???