Thursday, October 14, 2010

Love or Authority???

Sunday's service message was awesome!!! There was a question the Pastor asked during his sermon and I felt the question was being personally directed at me.  How do you discipline??? With Love or Authority?  I was embarrassed to admit that I discipline with love.  I thought about it all day Sunday, being a little more agressive with my authority.  Should I be more stern with my discipline?  Should I discipline with an iron fist?

I thought about my two older children, KJ & Kalani, and how wonderfully respectful and loving they were throughout their childhood years.  Besides the average adolescent anger they felt towards me when I said "No", they were and still are very good kids who turned out to be wonderful young adults.  I believe throughout their whole childhood and adolescent years, I disciplined with Love.

Now, I have my nine year old daughter, Keanalei.  She is different.  A challenge, if I might be so candid.  Always resisting (not completely) our requests to be more respectful with her attitude.  I know that at times when she talks back in front of others, I am viewed as a "Push Over Mom" or a mom who does not know how to discipline her child.  I've done all the "no no's" when it comes to parenting with her.  I've allowed her to raise her voice at me, have the last word, get away with not doing what I've asked of her, even after asking her to do it more than three times.  I give up.  I just let it go.

The other day, I had a conversation with her and told her that she hurt my feelings when she talks back to me.  She said "I never talk back to you, Mom".  I looked at her puzzled and said "Are you serious?", what do you thing "talking back" means?  She said "When you yell back at your mom or dad".  She honestly did not believe that she was talking back.  I continued to tell her that "talking back" meant that when you are being spoken to and not being asked a question, you reply with a statement.  I told her that when the only time I expect an answer is when I've asked her a question, otherwise she is to stay focused on listening to what is being said.  She nodded as if to say she understood.

The next day, the problem continued.  When I was talking to her about her homework, and I was disappointed in how she kept her agenda - No questions, just a statement.  She said "Mom, I know, I know"...I looked at her and said, "see, this is exactly what I am talking about".  She then stopped talking and just listened.  I then realized that disciplining with both Love & Authority is important, but the most important is Communication.  Communication is important in every relationship, including a parent/child relationship.  I love my kids with all my heart and want them to feel comfortable to speak to me about anything, so I will lovingly, with a hint of authority, communicate my wants as a parent, and also allow them to communicate their needs as a child.

How do you discipline?  How has it affected your relationship with your child?  If you have adult children, would you have done things differently?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Life is a box of chocolates

Life is a box of chocolates.  This week, I was given that piece of chocolate that noone ever wants.  The chocolate that you take one bite of, and then you put it right back.  Yuk!!!!!  Well, I have no choice but to chew it softly and enjoy the wonders of its flavor. 

Monday afternoon, minutes before I was off for the day, I received a phone call from my boss.  Immediately I thought he was calling about a work order that was in process.  He asked how my day was going, then he proceeded to tell me that he had a bit of bad news.  He said "Fran, unfortunately I have a bit of bad news for you.  The company has come to a stump in their business, and its forcing them to make major cutbacks.  I have to let you go."  What!!!! There was a pain in my gut that was so painful.  It felt like that pain you get when you want to cry out loud, but I didnt.  The only thing I could say was "Okay".   We hung up.  I logged off for the day, took a deep breath and then went to the bathroom.  I looked at myself in the mirror, prayed to God, and said "God, I know this is part of your will, please give me the wisdom and courage to be strong during this transition".  At that very moment, God held me as if to say "My daughter, everything will be fine".  The pain in my gut was gone. 

I've decided that I was not going to let the one minute conversation define me.  Rather, I am counting the 12 years of opportunities that I was given.  Bernards (the company I worked for), had been so good to me and my family through the years, and I must not take this personal.  I've met great people through the years, and this was a part of my journey.  God has always provided for me and my family, and I'm happy to continue my walk in faith. 

So in ending, there's a lesson in this analogy....."for those of you who continue to pick the chocolates that everyone wants, try that piece of chocolate that noone wants.  You never know, it may be your favorite flavor :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Who would've thought????

Who would have thought that I would be "40".  Wow, I remember being 13 years old, wondering if I the world was going to end before I reached the age of 18.  I turned 18 and then started wondering if I would live past 30.  These ages crept up on my so fast.  I graduated from high school, got married, had children and life just went on. 

Now I'm at the ripe old age of "40"...Who would've thought???  I know I certainly didn't.  I had the opposite thinking process when it came to aging after 30...I wanted to stay young and feared the 40's.  I've embraced aging, because age is nothing but a number.  I beleive that "growing old gracefully" is attainable, if you just accept who you are, how you look, and where you are going. 

To kick off my 40th birthday, my sister planned a night with our new family of friends.  We went to watch a comedy show and then went out to dinner and just chatted.  For many, these things may seem boring, but I wouldn't have done it any differently.  The best medicine for happiness is laughter, and boy did I laugh.  I laughed so much that my stomach hurt so bad that I couldnt laugh out loud anymore :)  We then went to a very casual mexican restaurant...and I'm talking very casual, but the atmosphere was surprisingly liberating.  Noone judging what we wore, how we decided to eat our salads or burrito's.  It's not that they didnt care, it was because they were all there to eat and have a great time....That's my kind of people :)

On Saturday, we went to watch a young man play football for a college in Dallas, who Kenny coached in Pop Warner and high school.  We are extremely proud of Richard.  Kenny and I somehow had a sense of pride for his accomplishments.  We've watched this boy grow into the young man that he is today.  Time is so valuable, and what happens while its ticking, is so overwhelming.  For a brief moment after the game, we were able to catch up with him before he had to head to the locker room.  God is good!!!

On Sunday, I woke up at 8 and called my sister and asked her if she wanted to do our 4 mile walk...although both of us were hoping the other would decline...we both got out of bed and hit the pavement.  What we thought would be our regular walk, ended up being the start of a great day.  As we were walking up a hill, I looked back and saw three stray dogs walking together up the hill.  One was a huge Rotweiller.  As I look over my shoulder, I tell my sister "Grace, there are three dogs coming up the hill", when I turned around, she was already booking it up the hill.  She is fast.  I yelled out to her "Where are you going, dont show fear", she said "I'm going to find a stick!!!".  I followed her into a home that was under construction to find some sticks for protection.  I found a regular sized stick and I was ready for battle :)...My sister comes around the corner with a 2 x 4 the length of her body and more than the width of her leg.  She carried it close to her, but I tell you that stick was HUGE :)  I asked her if she thought she could swing it if the opportunity came..and she said "I'll swing it girl". 

Well we walked almost 3 miles and she decided that her "stick" was too heavy and she was going to leave it behing, which left me with my regular stick to protect her.  We proceeded back up the hill not realizing that the dogs were still in the neighborhood resting and waiting.  As we approach the last street before home, we see the dogs.  Grace immediately tenses up.  I tell her "Girl, dont show fear"...well apparently the Rotweiller was preparing to dominate her.  As the approached us like a pack of wolves, I tried to sternly swoosh away the two stray dogs.  Meanwhile, the Rotweiller decided he was going after Grace.  She ran behind me screaming "Fran help me!!!".  I came to her rescue :) I fended off the Rotweiller and saved my sisters life :)  As we walked up the hill and knew we were safe from the "attackers"...we just looked at each other and bursted into laughter.  Gosh, that laughter felt amazing!!! What felt like a start of a really bad day, started off the way every day should start - With Laughter :)

In ending, a word of advice "Often times when things seem rough at first, it ends up being a blessing, bring on the blessings!!!"