It's been awhile since I've added to our on-going series, You Are Not a Victim, You're a Mom. I thought I'd do that today, simply because I woke up overwhelmed with gratitude that I'm not languishing in turbulent darkness anymore. Overwhelmed by joy is much more wonderful than being overwhelmed by all the people and all the discipline and all the feelings...I've come so far in my own personal journey as a mom. For years I was bound by overwhelming emotions. It was dark and I stumbled with my thinking and my speaking, in my heart and in my home. Feeling angry and hurt and hurt and angry and overwhelmed and helpless and hurt and angry and powerless...and powerless, you may know, is the emotion that bubbles up and out into unrighteousness displays of power most of all.
But powerlessness doesn't have control of my mind and reactions any more. I am free from the darkness and parenting in the light. And free to encourage you forward in your light-drenched journey as well.
Here is a short list of things you can do to take daily steps forward:
FIVE STEPS TO HELP MOVE YOU OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND START PARENTING IN THE LIGHT
1. TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS.
The old hymn promises, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace." God's Word encourages us with this:
I've heard it said, "When you face the Son, the shadows will be behind you." If you are living and trying to love in the shadow places, turn and face the Son. Ladies, develop the spiritual discipline of gazing, not glancing, at the mountains, where our Savior comes from. When your eyes are fixed on your emotions and your circumstances, glancing at Jesus for help is simply not enough. You must keep your eyes fixed upon the author and perfecter of your faith. (Hebrews 12:2) Camp out with Him! There is VICTORY to be found in Jesus.
2. PUT YOURSELF ON A STEADY DIET OF GOD'S WORD.
This one reinforces point one and sets the stage for point three...
3. ELIMINATE SUGAR AND CAFFEINE FROM YOUR DIET.
If you are an emotional mess, unable to get ahold of your feelings and words, and if you feel like your body and mind is always stressed along with your heart, take yourself off sugar for awhile. We know that our children melt-down like fools when they've ingested too much — is it possible that too much sugar is part of your foolishness as well?
I host an annual 40 Day Sugar Fast, and the next one is coming up in January. Click here to sign up for more information!
4. GET SOME EXERCISE AND DRINK LOTS OF WATER.
When your body is healthy, your heart and mind will follow. And finally, practically, this one here...
5. "KEEP DOING THE GOOD PARENTING."
Amber LIA taught me this one in our book Triggers and I apply it daily...multiple times each day. Galatians 6:9 says it this way: "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap a harvest if we do not lose heart."
Moment by moment, gentle response by gentle response, loving affirmation followed by loving correction followed by loving consequence, trip to the park after trip to the park, load of laundry after load of laundry, dishes and dinner and breakfast and dishes and lunch and dishes and still more loving correction...
Muscle through with the spiritual fruit of self-control, and keep parenting well today.
God bless you as you journey out of the dark pit and into the Light!
With the sincerest love, Wendy
If you are in a dark place emotionally right now, and tend to feel like a victim each hard day, I invite you to start this series at the beginning, or sign up to receive any future posts about gentle parenting straight to your inbox. And if you need a practical resource to help you love well rather than react wrong, grab a copy of Triggers: Exchanging Parents Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses along with the Triggers Study Guide to take you deeper into God's Word - because that's where transformation truly happens.