Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I am not sure if it is Spring Fever or the age, but my children are becoming more energetic by the day. K, P & R could now be called Ms. Dramatic, Mr. Overreaction and Mr. Testosterone. My spunkiness and my husband's intensity are showing up more and more in these little 3 foot tall, brunette packages everyday. And this mama is tired.

Admittedly, the older they get the more rational they become. This makes much of disciplining them more clear cut, as I generally know if their disobedience was the result of ignorance or true intent. Their energy level, the noise and the newfound experimentation with talking back have started to wear me down.

I am also mindful that they are old enough now that they will potentially have lifelong memories of our interactions. I am very intentional about telling them how much I love them--complimenting their strengths and encouraging them in their place in our family and the world. Yet, I am reminded that I must be careful with sarcasm--and really watch my tone (especially when tired or exasperated) and the message it may inadvertently send.

My friend Beth and I were talking about this last week and agreed we would like to experiment with a tape recorder for a day--to listen back to not only what we said to our children, but the way we said it. I cringed at that thought, then I realized in many ways these little hearts are just that, tape recorders taking in every word and tone.


Lord, hold this tongue and more importantly clean up my heart. "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Grant me wisdom, gentleness and self control. Fill my heart (and mouth) with love, joy, grace, mercy, patience and kindness. Fill my heart with You.

This motherhood thing is a big job, isn't it?


Danielle said...

this is so very needed today. thank you for your thoughts and for articulating what is on my heart. after a long day in which I behaved as poorly as my kids, I plead for grace (to receive and give) and hope this day is not how they remember their Mama. hold my tongue and clean up my heat indeed!

Colored With Memories said...

HUGE! i think many of us would cringe at our "recorders" us lord!

Love Being a Nonny said...

I am taking that as a challenge today. If my words today, AND MY THOUGHTS, would I be pleased? Most importantly, would HE be pleased?

Love Being a Nonny said...

whoops, if my words today, AND MY THOUGHTS, were recorded, would I be pleased? Most importantly, would HE be pleased?

georgiamom said...

It sounds like you are in the same place I am---in need of summer. For some reason my patience meter is on empty. Why do I keep trying to muster it up on my own? Thanks for the prayer. I will be making it my own.

Mindy said...

Jen, I have to tell you that it is like God gives you something he wants me to hear and is discussing with my on a regular basis! This is a huge struggle for me and one I was even discussing with my husband yesterday. But I don't need a tape recorder is my 7 yera old, A. When she speaks to her siblings I hear my words and my tone more often that not. And it has made me cringe many many times.....Thanks for the Word and I'm glad I'm not alone!
in HIM -

The Conklin Crew said...

Thank you for this wonderful reminder! This spoke to my heart today! Thanks for sharing!

Samantha said...

What wisdom you speak. In this area alone, tone of voice, I fear I have done my children the greatest injustice. Do you think we can record over these word and voice patterns if we keep at it long enough?

Keri Ann said...

Well-written post! Just two days ago, God put it on my heart to declare our home a "No-Shouting Zone." I was convicted of raising my voice far too often in order to get my points across, and my daughters were picking up on that bad habit. Even my easy-going husband has been raising his voice more lately. The Holy Spirit made me realize it was up to me to change the tone of our home. I'm hopeful that from now on we'll ALL be more mindful of what comes out of our mouths.

Thank you, as always, for giving us all food for thought! (And forgive me for being a "skim-and-run" reader rather than a thoughtful commenter for the past year or so! I do so appreciate your sharing of your heart here, and regret that I rarely take the time to comment!)

Shannon and Carey said...

Oh my. This is a great post. I need it. We all fall short. That's why we always have to be mindful of our actions. Especially to these little ones.
Thank you,
Shannon in Austin

deborah said...

It's amazing how hard it is having babies, and we feel that it might get easier when they are just a little older....yet it continues to be difficult in so many different ways as they grow.

Amen to motherhood is a big job!

Aubrey said...

Ugh. You said that and now I will think on it every time I open my mouth. I think I will post your sweet prayer on my bathroom mirror, the best place for me to see things I want to think on all day long! (I need a bigger mirror already!) Yes, this Mommy-ing gig is ginormous.

Bethany said...

I hear you! As a teacher, I find it imperative that I think the same way. Kids just soak up EVERYTHING!!!!! I also agree with you on spring fever- all 40ish of "my kids" have been hyper all week. Thank goodness for warm spring days like today :)

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AmberRose said...

I came across your blog on Jamie Dempsey's and when I scrolled down this was the date that caught my eye. Just yesterday I had a terrible day cooped up in the house with a 3 year old boy and a 15 month old girl with an ear infection and realized that what I was saying was NOT pleasing to MY ears & I know that it was effecting them negatively. Thank you for sharing this! It makes me realize that even in our weakest moments HE has a plan. (Looks like yours was to encourage other mothers that day!) God Bless!