Sitting back on the couch, I tucked my feet under me to get more comfortable. I looked around the room at the group of young ladies sprawled about, some on the floor leaning against the brick hearth, others settled into plush furniture like me, eager to hear what would come next. We came from various backgrounds and most had only been married a short while. Being the oldest student, I’d been married the longest, eight years, but the differences didn’t matter much in this place.
Dear Groovy Mama,
How do I teach contentment to my kids? (Marie)
Your question is a convicting one for me, because the first thing that comes to mind is that we Mamas must diligently model contentment if we want our kids to live a contented lifestyle. This means, (and this one is where my conviction is), that we avoid useless purchases. We must be verbal about our many blessings. We must limit, or avoid altogether, things that would tempt us to play the comparison game: social media, movies or T.V. shows, commercials, and even romance novels can breed discontent. We must be vigilant about protecting ourselves from this. Dissatisfaction is contagious!
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my daughter’s wedding day. I’ve long wanted to write about one central part of our preparations, but the words simply haven’t coalesced. Spiritually speaking, this past year has been hard. I have encountered steep, seemingly impassable terrain on my journey to the high places. Yet my Shepherd has been faithful to lead me through it, and as I look back on my daughter’s lovely, lovely day, I now see the gem, the standing stone, my Father left for me.
Dear Groovy Mama,
How do I teach my kids to look for ways to help and not just wait to be told what to do? (Angela)
That’s a tall order! If anyone out there has a magic formula, please add it to the comments! Seriously.
Training our kids is a process that takes years. In our home, I found that using some form of reward system is far more effective than trying to nag or guilt them in to helping. They are kids, after all, and while they must learn to help out because they are a part of our family team, I see nothing wrong with using a bit of honey to sweeten the learning process.
My dad once told me that you don’t have to grab hold of a snake to know that it’ll bite. I’m pretty sure I ran headlong into whatever foolishness was afoot anyway. I’m kinda like that, you know? I actually still touch the stove to see if it’s hot, or sniff the air to see if the cat did indeed pass gas. Silly and strange, yes, but I have to know for myself if something is so.
Aiming carefully at my subject, I shot blind. Lifting the camera, I squinted at the LCD screen but could still see nothing; the brightness of the mid afternoon sun rendered it worthless. I tried again, choosing my angle with care, holding perfectly still. When the breeze died down enough for the vibrant, violet bloom to still, I pressed the shutter once more. Shrugging, I walked on, waiting for the next flower or critter or bit of beauty to catch my novice eye.