Monday, December 22, 2008

God Changed My Heart

We just spent the weekend with the Hossink side of the family to celebrate Christmas. It's always nice to be together with all the family, but if I am to be honest (And you know I always am here!) there is one person I look forward to seeing more than anyone else.
That would be my sister-in-law.
She is my age, she's a mom, and she is also my sister-in-Christ. I love spending time with her talking about mom stuff, kid stuff, and how God holds it all together. And as we talked this weekend, God showed me one more thing about my sister-in-law. She's brilliant!

We were talking about the times when our children are asking for something and we are saying, "No." And, at least for the two of us, sometimes the NO is coming selfishly. In those instances - when our children insist on knowing why we're saying NO - we realize our selfish attitude, we're convicted by the Holy Spirit, and we want to change our answer. (OK, we don't want to change our answer. But the Spirit of God has a way of getting us to do what we do not want to do!) My sister-in-law said at those times she tells her daughters they need to thank God for changing Mommy's heart.

And that's when I recognized her brilliance.

I thought about how many times I have struggled with changing my answer in those situations. The realization of my selfishness and my desire to change most often comes in sync with my child pestering me with why's and please's. And I hesitate to change my NO to YES, because I do not - in any way, shape or form - want to reinforce begging. I do not want my children to think if they just pester me long enough about something, I'll give in.
So I am reluctant to change my answer because, if I do, what else are they going to think except that their begging paid off?

Now, thanks to God speaking through my sister-in-law, I know what to do. I just need to tell my children the truth.

"God changed my heart, so I am changing my answer."

And if this new response motivates my children to flood heaven's gates with requests that God change my heart, well, how wonderful would that be??!! *grin*

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luvmy4sons said...

Beautiful. Amen. Thank you for sharing this.

screamofcontinuousness said...

wow, that is inspired!

Jessica said...

So brilliant. The four year old is a big fan of "why". I love this answer since I also don't like to reward begging. Persistance, though, is kind of a good thing. Just not for the mommy. :-)

Mrs. Sidney said...

Love it!! I am going to use this now and forever. Just yesterday after church we were in the book store and Noodle was begging for a book and I said no a million times... Right before we left something told me to buy it but I didn't want to give into his begging, I think I might go pick it up on the way home today!! Thanks for sharing!!

Becoming Me said...

THat is pure brilliance...wisdom from God. Beautiful.

greta said...

Thank you for this! I have often thought those same thoughts as you Karen and now I will have a good answer too and one that opens their little hearts a little more to God as well. :)
Thank you.

On Purpose said...

Thank you for sharing this! I love it when you pass on the words of wisdom that are packaged so beautifully in His Grace.

Merry Christmas Karen!

Chatty Kelly said...

I too am against rewarding begging. I try to be thoughtful before I answer so that I don't have to change my answer later. Sometimes I think it is the kids who are being selfish - not me. I am the adult. But's me.

Staceystace said...

Thanks for the tip...I will definitely be putting it into practice! It is a tough situation. I have told my kids that they are welcome to add more information that might help me understand better, and to even "sell" me on a request, as long as they are respectful and accept a "no" if that is the final answer! "Why" is okay, too until it becomes less of a genuine question to just a form of protest. But I have often lamented this predicament and I love your sister-in-law's approach.

Justin & Mary said...

Thanks for sharing. I'll have to remember this when my daughter is old enough to start asking why :)

Amanda said...

What a beautiful way of thinking about things!

Many blessings to you this Christmas!


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

My daughter is now eleven and getting past the "why" stage. Now she just gets after me and notices everything. A few months ago when I fussed at a car in front of me, she reminded me about patience. It's moments like that when I realize that the Godly teaching we have tried to instill in her is at work.

Shawna said...

I've been there with my three year old. Thank you for sharing this.