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Contentment

Are we losing our villages?

July 25, 2016

It takes a village to raise a child.

Just a forewarning as this is going to be a rambly post as I get my thoughts on the screen. I could edit and finesse it, but I think that editing too much might take away from the sincerity with which I want to write this. 

 

Ok, here goes..

 

Quite frequently over the past few years, and then twice in the last week, I was confronted with the reality of just how lonely some mothers are. The story is the same for most, with them feeling disconnected from the people around them. Feeling as if they were going about mothering without much support and the last time anyone offered to do anything for them was a distant memory. 

You can say that they need to stop feeling sorry for themselves, get up and do something. You can say what you put in is what you get out. You can ask when was the last time they have invited someone to their house, out to the park or out for a coffee? All these thoughts are very valid, and yet, is this the best way to deal with it? Throw it back in their faces? Make it their problem?

Over the weekend, these women got me thinking, are they the only ones that I know are feeling this way? I don’t think so, as I know I had these feelings when I was at home with a few little ones. 

It led me to ask myself the question: Are we losing our villages?

By ‘villages’ I mean our support systems. The group of people who drop in unannounced. The people you can ring to just have a sane, five-minute pep talk amidst the mayhem that is sometimes motherhood. The people with whom you can arrange after-school park dates with a simple packet of milk arrowroot*. The people who can offer to babysit unprompted without needing payment so that you can go out for a much-needed night out with your husband. 

 

Looking back to when I was young, we had a huge village around us. 

Life has changed. 

And now I’m asking you. 

Are we losing our villages? 

 

Are we too busy for villages?

Are we too busy with our online lives to be involved in meaningful, real-life relationships?

Where have the Titus 2 women gone?

Are we too obsessed with having Real Living** homes to have people over? 

Are we over scheduling our children with too many extra-curricular activities?

Are we too occupied with our hobbies?

Do we stress about needing to have something home-baked on the table, and so often just don’t invite anyone over?

Have we been burnt by harsh words or obvious shuns that makes us afraid to take chances? 

Are we becoming keyboard warriors in real life and so we are burning bridges faster than building them? Have we lost our filters?

Are we struggling with the sin of discontent in our lives and feel that we just don’t live up to other’s expectations? 

Are we willing to extend our friend parameters to allow someone else to join us?

What do you think? Do you have solutions? 

 

 

*cheap packet of store bought biscuits 

**Home Decorator Magazine in Aus 

Contentment Family Life

Permissive Parenting

November 7, 2015

DSC_0245

Do you remember the story of Eli?  Eli was an upright man. A priest, one who was chosen to be God’s spokesperson and mediator for the Israelites. 

Yet, like all of us, Eli had flaws. He was a permissive parent. Eli stood idly by and knowingly (my interpretation) watched his sons take the best of the sacrifices. He heard time and time about how his sons were sleeping around with the women who came to Shiloh and it appears that he chose to do nothing about it. It didn’t turn out well for Eli and his household. The age-old promises of blessings were taken back by God and both his sons died on the same day. 

Permissive parents, sometimes referred to as indulgent parents, have very few demands to make of their children. These parents rarely discipline their children because they have relatively low expectations of maturity and self-control. According to Baumrind, permissive parents “are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation” (1991). Permissive parents are generally nurturing and communicative with their children, often taking on the status of a friend more than that of a parent. Taken from here.

The days I am a permissive parent do not go well for me and my family.  It’s a sure sign I am distracted with other things and I am sure that ol’ Eli was probably very distracted by the busy goings-on in the temple. It’s also a sure sign that I have a ‘Keep them happy at all costs and not rock the boat today’ attitude.

The TV tends to stay on longer than the usual half hour. Things end up in the shopping trolley that I had said no to.  Bed time routines fly out the door and we slip into later bed times and then tired kids the next day. There is back chatting that goes unchecked. I could go on, and on, and on. Chaos reigns supreme and then I usually lose the plot and start getting all shouty and mean mum and then we just all have a bad day. Full of sin.  Full of regrets.

Godly parents are not permissive parents. Godly parents give boundaries, give firm guidance* and instruction.  Most days I am far from a Godly parent. 

On days like that, it is good to remember that God’s Word is our ultimate parenting manual and we can run to it at any time that we need that pep talk and encouragement.  Time and time again he gives us examples on how to parent. How boundaries and instruction lead to a blessed life.

Psalm 136 : 11& 12 

Basically the whole book of Proverbs.

Ephesians 6:4

Deuteronomy 11:19

And there are so many more that could be listed. 

These words need to be etched on our hearts, especially on the hearts of us mums. We need to be loving, boundary giving, compassionate teachers for our children with that ultimate goal always in the forefront of our minds. 

What portions from scripture instruct you the best in your parenting role? 

 

*Never never out of anger and never physical.

Contentment faith

Mondays are like fresh helpings of grace

October 19, 2015

2corinthians517

It always comes around faster than I wish. 

Monday. 

It is the cue that the time of the week that I enjoy just so much; the weekend,  has ended.  I just love Saturdays and Sundays. The kids and Rob are close. Things get done around the house. There is time to entertain and be with those that mean so much to us. And Sunday, give me Sunday every day. Sitting in church, the cares of the world just slip away, off my shoulders and I just bask in the words. The songs, the people. Monday signals that routine has to step back in. Things can’t be put off, things have to be accomplished, deadlines need to be achieved  which always makes me feel slightly unhinged. The enormity of the list, the realisation that this week will bring things a little closer to dates I am not looking forward to. The worry of what could happen in the space of this week, the knowledge that anxiety could grip me and overtake the joy. Yet, I know Mondays are good for me. I need them.  Continue Reading

Contentment

I am loved and I am free

September 4, 2015

I am lovedI am free

JJ Heller has the knack of making it sound so easy and somedays I just wish I would just believe a whole lot more. If only we just loosen up a little on ourselves and just listen to His Word and accept that gift of grace.  Continue Reading

Contentment Things I love

Everyone has a Backstory

August 6, 2015

backstory

The first time I heard the phrase ‘everyone has a backstory’ was about a year ago. It was said to me, in a deserved, rebuking manner after I expressed my disapproval about the way a person had acted in public. “Tash, don’t be harsh, she’s got a lot going on in her life, don’t forget everyone has a backstory.” 

Now I will be the first to admit that I am a judgmental person and it’s something that I am and need to continue working on.  I often judge people based on my past experiences with them and what is worse, I often let other people’s opinion determine the way I think of people. Of course it had occurred to me previously that everyone has things going on in their lives which contributes to the way they act, but I had never though about it in this way. The backstory is what is going on in the background. Often unseen. Often unshared and it is often a very lonely script to read. The backstory IS part of the story that is happening right now and it sets the scene in our lives every single day.

The majority of people in our lives, flit in and out, not making much of a ripple, not making much of an impression. We don’t get close and that is ok. Then around us, we have a small posse of friends and family who we do know well. We know the things that make them tick. We know their passions, the things that make them happy. We know their idols and their addictions. We know the days that will be tough for them and we know how we can help them when they are down and out for the count. We are compassionate with their failings, we are able to graciously forgive them for the things they do that may upset us because we know their backstory. 

Everyone has a backstory. Our emotions, actions, inactions and reactions are marinated by our backstory. 

A mum who finds it hard to get that difficult child ready for school every single day. The mum who can’t get out of the house unless it is perfectly tidy. The dad who is battling to make ends meet. The family gripped by an addiction. The young guy struggling with his singleness.  The family who is grieving the loss of another child. The mum who has a daily struggle with her PND. The lady who has a constant battle with her weight. The mum who feels she needs to be perfect at all times. 

At the moment I am praying hard to be more considerate of the backstories and maybe you’d like to as well. 

We can learn to look at the person and not at appearances.

We can ask ‘How are you going” and actually listen. 

We can spread our wings around more than just our posse.

We can ask “What can I do to help” and be ready to take “Nothing” as an answer. 

We can be patient when others don’t act in a way that we would like.

We can say “I’ve been there, I know it’s hard’ when appropriate.

We can share our sorrows, our fears and our worries because that helps.

We can live Colossians 3:12 a whole lot more than what we do.

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