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Tag: be present

Get Some Rest

I imagine you could use some rest.

I’ve had a goal for the last several years, but I’ve rarely lived into it. The goal: Get up early, before the kids wake up, and start the day off right. However, it’s more likely that I snooze the alarm, wake up to the baby monitor and live the rest of my day on that day’s terms. Or, to say it another way…I’m in reaction mode.

We’ve all been there.
We react to the baby monitor.
Then we react to the kids morning routine.
Then it’s off to work, carpools, dinner, bed time routine…and on it goes.

I’m rarely ahead of myself on these day and I’m typically just making it all up as I go. Wait, did I eat breakfast?

REACTION VS. REST

I recently heard Jon Tyson, Pastor of Trinity Grace Church in NYC, share something I’d never thought about before. He pointed out that in creation God created man on the 6th day. He created man with a job to do. He gave man dominion over everything in the garden — he was to take care of and steward the creation.

So Adam wakes up on the 7th day eager and ready to get start making things happen and God says, “Not today. Today is a day for rest.”

When Adam eventually did start his work, he started from a place of rest.

WE’VE GOT IT BACKWARDS

We do this backwards – we work and then collapse in exhaustion. We don’t stop to rest, eventually our body just forces us to rest.

Imagine starting your day or week off from a place of rest. I have no doubt I would be a better parent. The few times I have actually gotten up early, spent time with Jesus and coffee – I greet my waking kids with a attentive presence, with joy, and a better handle on how I can encourage them for the day.

(Now, I just need to get to bed at a decent time…)

Whether you are a believer or not, there is something incredibly compelling about the Christian idea of Sabbath. What would it look like for you to schedule rest into your busy, hectic life? What would it take for you to do this?  Can you allow yourself to not be “productive” for a period of time and just be present?

One of the things that Sabbath reminds us is that we are worth more than what we create. That we have inherent value. That we can shut things down for a time and enjoy, study, spend time with family, get outside, or just sit and relax on the porch while watching the kids be free to play.

I imagine you could use some rest.

You have my permission to take time to get it.

Now What?

There’s a lot of talk about helicopter (or insert your other favorite adjective lawnmower/hovering/bulldozer) parents these days.  But it is tempting to want to play that role in our kid’s lives.  Especially when it comes to protecting our kids from pain.

Few moments are harder for a parent than watching your son or daughter experience a disappointment. Whether it’s being cut from the team, failing the test, or not getting the part in the school play, teenage disappointments can feel devastating. Even if the situation doesn’t seem like a big deal to us, it can cause a teen to nosedive!

 

A Lack of Perspective

I remember when I was being interviewed for a high school newspaper as a new youth pastor in town.  I was asked,

“What is one thing you want teens to know?”

My answer was simple.

“So many things in a teen’s life feel like they carry the weight of the world.  If it doesn’t happen now, don’t worry, you have a lot of life left to live.”

I’m not sure they found this answer very profound.  In fact I’m not sure they even gave it much thought.  For a teen, there’s a lot of pressure to have the right friends, get the right grades, date the right person, make your name in sports, and the list goes on.  In the middle all of this, students don’t always have a lot of perspective.  They can’t always see past the here and now.

No one wants to see their kid crumble under this pressure.  That’s why it’s so tempting to help students avoid disappointment instead of learning to deal with it. In our minds we know that let-downs are a part of life and teaching our students to manage them is healthy, but there is a difference between “preparing the path for the child and preparing the child for the path”. 

Does that mean we have to be completely hands-off when our son or daughter is going through a tough time? Not necessarily.

In his blog post, Helping Students Handle Disappointment and Pain, Dr. Tim Elmore gives parents four tips for helping their students walk through a disappointing time without bailing them out of it.

  1. Talk to students about disappointment and pain. Let them know it is a part of life and a big part of growing up into healthy adults.
  2. Share some of your own stories of past hurt or disappointments, and how you learned to deal with them.
  3. Give your students perspective — big picture perspective — one that really matters. Help them separate the eternal issues from the temporal ones.
  4. Do something together that may introduce sacrifice or hurt, and reflect on the experience along the way.

 See more at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/tag/helping-students-handle-disappointment-and-pain/#sthash.3I5Om8P8.dpuf

These seem like simple conversations or suggestions, but I can’t encourage you enough to carve out time to sit, be present, and talk it through.  Even if it drives you crazy how irrational it seems!  You attention and presence is much more impactful than you know!

Try This

One of the greatest things we can do for our children is give them the tools to navigate disappointment. Sharing stories is a great way to model both the how-to and the how-not-to when it comes to handling tough circumstances.

Choose one of the options below as a conversation starter sometime this week.

 Option 1: Talk about one person who has inspired you in the way they have handled disappointment.

Option 2: Share a story of a time you were disappointed (by a situation that does not involve your family) and how you could have handled that disappointment in a healthier way.

 

 

Now What? is also a series we are teaching students this month developed by our good friends at Orange.  Get connected to a wider community of parents at www.orangeparents.org.

 

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