I may be writing this series but in no way do I have it down perfect. Everything I am sharing with you I have had to walk through or am walking through as we speak.
Take yesterday for example. We had been talked about spending Quality time AND Quantity time with our daughters…finding places of interest and learning to connect there. Even before I knew I would be writing about spending time with our daughters I had planned a shopping trip with my girls to get summer clothes.
Now I can’t say that clothes shopping with four pre-teen/teen daughters is a highlight for me. It can be a long day of indecision, short tempers and sisterly bickering.
Sure enough, they hadn’t even rolled out of bed when the bickering started. I’m not sure over what but it was loud, rude and downright annoying. Here I was trying to have a moment of quiet time and all I could hear was the faint sounds of sisters fighting. Never happens in your house, does it?
I let out a long sigh and thought….”Dear Lord, here we go.” But it was at that moment that the Lord whispered to my spirit. “It doesn’t have to be that way, help them refocus on me.” And I realized He was right, we did not need to have a spirit of bickering and fighting rule our day and ruin our time together. Even if the girls did get it worked out I could already feel my attitude heading far south, which wasn’t good for anyone or our shopping trip.
So I called all the girls into the living room and said “You know girls, we already seem to be off on the wrong foot…we are bickering and fighting and it is making for a lousy start to our day. Let’s take a few moments to re-focus our hearts and check our attitudes.” So we took time to simply be quiet and then spent a moment praying that God would help re-focus our hearts on Him and give us nothing but encouraging words for one another.”
And you know, even though it only took a few minutes, that refocusing of our hearts was enough to turn our morning around. Did we get by with no squabbles or frustrated sighs? No, but we did have a very enjoyable day.
Sometimes we have to help our daughters to re-focus their hearts. One of the biggest struggles of walking through teen-hood with our girls can be the attitudes we encounter.
We get frustrated and annoyed and wish that we could just speed through all of this “drama”. But what we have to realize is that our daughters are trying to navigate their own hearts, their own attitudes and emotions….and much of the time it can be a confusing maze of “growing up.”
My question to you today is…Is she finding a safe place to navigate those emotions, those feelings and those “attitudes”? Is she finding someone willing to hold her accountable, helping her see the responsibility she has to her own heart….or is she finding someone simply tolerating her until she “grows up?”
As my girls have reached puberty and as the hormones began to rage I have been very upfront with them about one thing….“Your hormones are not an excuse for bad behavior. It is not an excuse for treating anyone rudely or a reason to “check-out” of this family.”
Because the truth is, my daughters need to know that they do not have to be dictated by how they feel. That they have a choice when it comes to their attitude and behavior. Sometimes we have to be there to remind them of that, to nudge them in the right direction.
In our house, when one of our girls “attitude” begins to show I will simply walk up to them and quietly remind them with this. “Daughter, your attitude is showing. Take a few moments and then you can rejoin us.”
And they know (because we’ve already talked about it) that it means that there is something in their heart that is out of sorts…maybe they have picked up an offense, maybe something did not go there way or maybe they are just feeling blah…but whatever it is, they need to take time to ask God to help them refocus their heart so that their attitude reflects Him and NOT their emotions.
Once they have adjusted their “attitude” then we can move forward and deal with whatever was frustrating them or causing the attitude.
So the challenge today: Are you creating a safe place for your daughter’s heart? Or are you just tolerating her until she “grows up?”
I encourage you to take time to seek God and ask Him how to create a safe place for your daughter’s heart. It is never too late to start…and as overwhelming as it may seem to tackle the attitude and the difficulties of this age, I know that God can give us much grace and patience to walk this road together.
A Word From Victoria
Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment here on the blog, on the Fearless Heart Facebook Page or send your thoughts to my e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Click this entry link http://bit.ly/11Oqjwd for a chance to win one of three great prizes. You can enter each day by doing any or all the five entry options.