Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Sweet Morning

Are you like me? Do you ever feel like the things that come out of your mouth are more negative than positive? And, I mean in how we relate to our littles...

Don't touch that.

Stop playing with that.

Get down from there.

Please do not eat that.

Take that out of your mouth.

Pick that up. Put that back. Negative. Negative. Negative.

Know what I mean?

I've recently been reading Teach Them Diligently and while the writing is not my style and way over my head, I am gleaning good things from it. While reading it, I was laying in bed and asking God to help me be more positive to my children. To increase the number of positive things I say and the ways that I encourage them.

And, He brought an idea to mind to plan a sweet morning for them - where I was focused on just being with them and on their level. Positive.

I woke early Monday morning and set my plan in motion ...

A couple of cozy quilts, a few pillows off of our comfy couch, a basket of books including crayons, coloring books and bubbles. Plus a tray of breakfast dishes and a canning jar of flowers (is anything complete without either a canning jar or flowers or both?!)

The girls are greeted by this sight when they waken and wander out from bed ~

~ we head outside even though Samuel is still conked out... and the girls know just what to do! Find a cozy spot and just sit ~

Soon they have each grabbed a book and are cozily turning pages ~
I am hanging freshly washed linens on the line and watching the sweet scene unfold.
I go in to bring out breakfast and am met with more sweetness ~

Doing things a bit fancier says you are special!

Emily's favorite muffins lately ~
Rachel wishes for a roof ~ and I exclaim over what a beautiful roof God has provided for us to enjoy on a lovely lazy morning ~

We open our Bible together and read about the way God takes care of His people ~ then we act it out, running across the yard and standing in awe of the parted waters!

A sweet face thanks me for this fun morning and for the special treat of eating breakfast outside!

I can't resist the beckoning to come and see these blooms any longer! I head over to the garden to admire God's creativity at work here in this space we call home!

Good morning, sleepyhead!

Together, we color ~

~ we blow and chase bubbles!

And, then we come to the best part of the sweet idea God has provided. To bless. To encourage. To speak positive words that build up!

Emily and I sat together and wrote a list of things we love about Rachel. Then, Rachel and I did the same for Emily. We came back together and enjoyed reading the lists. Kind words were said. Lips dripped with blessings. And, grateful hearts received the blessings and turned them back into thanks and praise.

"Thank you, Mommy and Emily for saying such nice and special words to me!"

My heart was singing. And, rejoicing in God's goodness to show me the way.

We spent over two hours outside together and were only driven in by the beginning rains.
The investment of time on my part was small - but I feel the benefits of choosing God's way, speaking kindness and encouragement and blessing as well as focusing gently on my little ones will reap abundantly more than I have sown.


Katy said...

Sounds like a beautiful morning! What a wonderful time for each of you and great memories for your children! :)

Anonymous said...

Love it - so sweet.

*carrie* said...

How special. You are so good at not only having these ideas, but in being intentional and making them actually happen. Love you!

Mom said...

Oh how lovely! What a special way to start a day and what a great encouragement for all. One of the things I love about you is the way you can make an ordinary day extraordinary! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos -- love to all, Mom

Jacob said...

Precious and lovely, well done, simple and beautiful. tammyp

Hannah said...

it's amazing how God will bless you when you follow his ways and not your own. And when you strive to become a better person by following his word & will, your heart becomes lifted and a smile brings joy that will last. You are a wonderful mother! I hope someday to be a blessing like you!

Flannel Jammies Farm said...

What sweet delight! I want to be one of your children! For those of us with empty nests... wouldn't this be a lovely Saturday morning surprise for a husband or a mother or a very best friend? Thank you for the inspiration!!!

Nancy at EmbroideryIt.com said...

This is beautiful. I'm going to pray right now for God to show me what I can do for myself and my three children (who are teenagers). When children become teenagers, the hormones and their peers can really lead to some negative words coming out of our mouths. My husband and I have always tried to raise our children in the best Christian environment possible. Teenagers can truly make us struggle. Anyway, thanks for your beautiful words and I'm sure through prayer the Holy Spirit will guide me to do something with my kiddos on their level to bring more sweetness into our home.
Blessings and have a great day.

angela said...

How wonderful!

Anna said...

Just last night my husband and I were discussing how we felt we need to be better models of Christ's love, kindness, and patience to our children. We decided that over the next several days we're going to each go on a short outing with each child individually (we have 4 under 3!)to spend quality time together. I'm going to suggest your idea to him as another way to foster loving attitudes towards each other!

Lynette said...

What a special memory you made! Your children are so blessed to have you as their mommy!

Elise said...

I LOVE this idea!! I need to implement something like this. I feel like sometimes, particularly with my oldest child, that sometimes he might possibly get lost in the shuffle. Or he may think so...I *have* to tend to Lilly and her shots, etc. I *have* to tend to two year old Fisher, but sometimes I feel more like Jackson can fend for himself. I definitely need to show him and them, too, that they are so special to me.

Oh, and no time is complete without a canning jar with flowers. :) Such a simple thing a canning jar is, but so wonderful!!

LynnMarie said...

What a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

Debra said...

How sweet. I might try that this week since school is out - it would be a nice surprise for sure.

And, I struggle every day with trying to be more positive. Your not alone...

Thanks for sharing your fun morning.

angie said...

Oh, what a grand idea. My favorite part is the list making! What a way to turn a mundane Monday into a marvelous Monday.

Wendi said...

So sweet! A great reminder that I needed.

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Oh I finally figured out gmail, so now I feel more confident posting to really nice blogs :) :)
I love your blog and a few others too. I think what sets it apart is your very clear heart for Jesus Christ and being more like Him in your everyday life :) :)
I loved todays post. So sweet..you're developing good characters in your girls AND creating such special memories :) :) I love it. I don't have kids yet, but I think this would be fun to do with some friends:) :) :) Have a blessed week. Greetings from Oregon :)

gemma said...

You are such a good mom. What a wonderful start to the day.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering when your son is older if he will grab a book and snuggle or start dragging everything all over the yard---My son would have done the latter!

Very sweet idea. You are very creative, Monica. God has blessed you that way.

I'm wondering what children's Bible you are reading from--Is it the Jesus Bible Storybook?

Holly Days Closet said...

What a wonderful way to spend the day thanks for sharing you wonderful bleesing with us all.

Shannon said...

Monica - Your posts are always an inspiration. Coming here is just the nudge I need to do the special things I usually just think about doing!

Tara said...

What a lovely idea! Although I'm not surprised, I love how you make the day special without spending a lot of money. Thank you for this beautiful post, I think I'm going to do this with my littles:)

Ami said...

The encouragement lists are something we really will do very soon. Now that our summer vacation has official started, I'm trying very hard to get the kids and I outside, cuddled up on a quilt under the weeping willow for some good read-alouds. I want to do it often because I love it, and I want them to remember that and think of it every time they see a weeping willow when they grow up.

Anonymous said...

Oh you are sweet!

Here are some other ways I try to stay positive-- by changing the way I speak.

Instead of "NO, don't touch" I try "Oooh! Hot!"

Instead of "Don't climb", "Come to mama so you stay safe!"

Instead of "Stop whining!"-- "Let me hear that in your kind voice."

It sounds silly, but my attempt is to phrase things without making everything a negative confrontation. It is lovely, and it sticks. ;)
I just heard my ten-year-old daughter telling the baby, "Oooh, buddy, that is sharp!" Much better than "Don't touch!" :)

Isabel said...

Oh so sweet! I think I'll do the same with my little ones. :) Thank you for sharing this.

brentandsarah said...

Excellent! I, too, feel like I say too many "don'ts" and not enough "do's" and positive things. You gave me something to think about and do with my kids. Thanks!

Lynn B said...

Thank you for the example and the reminder! I really need to focus on my children's hearts more, and you have given me some wonderful ideas. I also love the comment with ideas for positive phrases. Beautiful!

Erica said...

Oh, how special!! They will never forget that! It's sometimes the smallest things that say so much.

I just came across your blog, and LOVE it! You seem to be such a great mom! I'll be back for sure. Such an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Anybody have a similarly creative idea that my 18, 16, 13yr old would go for?

Dawn said...

I ALMOST said, "Oh we have those same Toy Story pajamas that Samuel is wearing." Then I remembered that we HAD them, but now you HAVE them!! LOL!! Too funny!! Dawn M.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful idea.