today was one of those out of body experience days. for the last month our kiddos have been at each other. they have been negatively interpreting comments from one another and from lance and i. we have been trying to draw them to one another and help them restore trust with one another, but nothing has worked. add on top of that, the fact that riley has been in one of his most hideous stages to date and we have war happening in the sisco home. although we have been repeating the phrases, "we're on the same team" and "they are not your enemy" nothing seemed to help.
flash forward a few weeks...
Friday night we filled our Samaritan boxes. before leaving the house, each child got to pick five things that they wanted to put in their boxes. [i don't know about you, but my kiddos get overwhelmed in the store if they don't have any direction] we had some serious conversation before heading in about how this shopping was not about us or what we wanted for Christmas. we also discussed (because of our running record) that we would be helping each other find the things on one anothers' lists. no one person's list was more important... we were a team of people wanting to be a blessing. a prayer was said and off they went! we grabbed the things on their lists and then got more things that mommy and daddy deemed necessary.
i was so proud of how well they did. they found soo much joy in finding things that could bring a smile to another kiddo. they graciously helped each other find the things they wanted to give and they were patient when waiting to check out. when we returned home, they couldn't wait to fill those boxes and write letters to those kids.
flash forward to today...
their was peace in our home this morning. no one complained about the clothes they were going to wear. i had kids offering to help with breakfast and clean up. their was no fighting on the way to church. there were no tears when dropping kids off at their classes. everyone obeyed when it was time to walk back to the van. we ate out and everyone stayed seated and used manners. we ACTUALLY enjoyed a meal out!!! (can't remember when that happened last). upon returning home, there was quiet playing of Legos and, again, kids helping one another. i really could go on and on- but i won't. all this to say, there was a HUGE turn around in our kids and their hearts.
i don't believe the parenting changed at all... we are just as flawed now as we were before. however, in taking an evening to put other's needs before ourselves i think our kids got their eyes off of themselves.
Acts 20:35 says, "In everything i did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." and Paul said in Philippians 2:1-4 "If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
There is no doubt that this small act rebooted our family. i'm hoping to remember this and make a real effort to continue leading our kiddos hearts and minds to care for others in small and big ways. Please join us in that mission and let us know what your family does to take your eyes off yourselves. we would love some fresh ideas and may God receive the honor for all of it!