Here in North America we’re fully in summer holiday mode. Or should I say summer vacation mode. Our school district has been on holiday for three weeks now and we have ten weeks to go until school starts again.
Thirteen weeks all together. Day in. Day Out.
For some Mothers this is glorious. Wonderful. Blessed. For others, this is a struggle.
Did you read that, above? Thirteen weeks of having all your children around.
For me, personally, this time is to be cherished and for us all to enjoy – but – there will be some challenges along the way with expectations and behaviour and I know that my home will not be tidy or fully clean for this entire time.
While no family is perfect and each family has their own difficulties…..I’ve noticed that school holiday time, no matter where in the world you live, is a time where Mothers seem to get together and they gripe. They moan and they groan and they grizzle and complain and they gripe. For the mostpart. Sweeping broad generalization I know. But I’m sure you all have people in your lives that do this – even if you make an effort not to join in. And if you do join in….I bet ya don’t even realize you do this. So this is for you. ‘Cos you gotta stop. Actually this is relevant no matter how old your kids are.
‘Gentle words cause life and health. griping brings discouragement’ – Prov 15: 24
I’m a firm believer in sowing and reaping. You get what you sow. When you talk negatively about your kids and what they are doing or what they’re not doing….you aren’t actually sowing seeds that encourage improvement. You’re highlighting an issue yes, you’re putting a spotlight on it, and you’re magnifying it. But there is no solution and no resolution.
Now there is a huge difference between confiding in someone and seeking wisdom – being real and honest with someone you respect who may be able to help you……a huge difference between being proactive and just griping about an issue concerning your family in particular.
And we know when we’re doing it. We know if we’re just going on about a subject to join in with conversation. We know in our hearts the difference between reaching out for help and going on, and on and on.
We had a great playdate yesterday with a great friend and her children. For a short time our conversation focussed on where we were at with parenting and things that are happening in our lives – that comes with being Mothers and comes with being real about where we are at in life. But the conversation wasn’t limited to that and wasn’t stuck on that. We quickly moved onto other topics. And I came away from that time with my friend feeling blessed and encouraged.
And shouldn’t conversation with friends do that? We should come away from encounters with other Mums feeling like we’re in this together, that no family is perfect but we’re called to bigger and better things. Not just to focus on our problems. Our summer problems. Our 13 weeks of having kids walk in and out of the house all day long, wet feet and all, leaving the door open and the constant wet swimsuits being left everywhere.Or the fact that the oldest kid is still learning some social skills. Or the fact that the youngest really needs to learn some more words. Those problems.
‘Let our conversation be gracious as well as sensible, for then you will have the right answer for everyone’ – Collosians 4:6
Have you ever noticed that the longer you spend focused on griping and verbalizing your own issues, the harder it is to be able to give the right answer to others? To be able to speak a word in season to someone, because you do know what they are going through and you have the right answer through Jesus Christ?
If you’re too busy joining in with the groans and grizzles, you can’t provide hope and truth.
Yes I believe in accountability.
Yes I need friends to be real with, to glean wisdom from.
Yes I do not have a perfect family and my children are far from angelic.
But I am trying, really trying this summer to not join in when the conversations around me turn to griping. I’m sure you know in your heart of hearts when your conversation turns to griping.
Let’s offer solutions to people, let’s offer the right answers to people – and we can, when our words are seasoned with grace.