Thursday, April 19, 2012

Raising Men, Not Sluggards!

As a mother of all boys, I often worry about making sure that I am doing all that I can to help my sons become men.  Yes, they are boys now, but I always have to remember that there is a man growing inside each of those little boy bodies.  Thankfully, much of their actual "manliness" training falls under my husband's jurisdiction, but I know I also have an important role to play.  If nothing else, I owe it to my future daughter-in-laws to make sure that I deliver them whole and intact as Men of Standard, worthy of the titles of "Husband" and "Father!"

One of the things I wrestle with is teaching my sons how to follow through.  I will often assign a task and discover later that they did not quite finish the job.  Recently, I told one of my sons to go upstairs and return his truck to his toy box in his bedroom.  Well, I came up later and found that truck at the top of the staircase.  Follow through?  I think not.

When I am tempted to yell and punish, I often hear that still, small voice admonishing me and telling me that this is my fault.  I have not diligently taught my children to follow through.

In the middle of rushing to stay on top of my duties as mom, wife, homeschooler, cook, pastor's wife, sister-friend, daughter, and so much more, I often don't take the time to stop and make sure that they are learning the value of seeing a task to completion.  Honestly, I usually forget to check to make sure that they have finished the job.  Sadly, I will often just finish it so that I can move on to the next thing on my list.

God, in his infinite wisdom, chose to give me a solution to this problem during family devotion.  This morning, as we sat around the kitchen table, Andrew asked for the meaning of Proverb 19:24.

"The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth."

In his explanation, my husband basically told him that a sluggard is someone who is so lazy that they never follow through, even for the tasks that are necessary for survival.

I have to admit that I felt so convicted during his explanation because I knew that I had not been setting a good example of following through by ignoring the fact that my children were not following through.

Within one hour after devotion, I had the opportunity to work with my boys during two instances of  lack of follow through.  Each time, I would ask, "Are you a sluggard?"

Of course, they don't want to be sluggards, so they would puff out their little chests and say, "I am NOT a sluggard."

Then, I would say, "Well, complete your task with excellence."

Then, they ran off to complete their tasks.  Of course, I did my part and checked for job completion.

Parenting and training is exhausting and repetitive, but it is worthy work.  If I want my boys to be good stewards of their time and resources, I must first set an example by being a good steward of the three precious little boy gifts God has given me.

We are far from adulthood, but I am determined to follow through on teaching my boys to follow through.  Besides, I want nice Christmas presents from my future daughter-in-laws!

What do you do teach your children to follow through?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I Survivied a 10 Day Sugar Detox: Part 2

It's been a while since I started this series.  I have to admit that I've been feeling very vulnerable about letting all of my business hang out on a blog for all the world to see.  However, as I said before, when God steps in and delivers you, you can't just sit on it and not share it.

Last time, I confessed to being addicted to sugar.  I also promised to share what this voluntary enslavement has cost me over the years.  As an added bonus, I'll combine it with what I gained because I didn't even realize the costs until they were no longer there!  In no particular order, here is my list of costs and gains during this 10 day sugar detox.
My pains have gone away since starting this journey.  I do have some weight to lose, so I've always attributed my arthritis to this extra body baggage I'm always packing around.  I was so surprised when I realized that I was no longer in around day 3!

Aggravation of my hereditary neuropathy
This is not to be confused with diabetic neuropathy. This has to do with the shape of my spine.  I'm not a doctor, so I can't give you the whole medical background on it, but it just runs in my family.  I thought I was doomed to not feeling my fingers and toes and living with numbness from an old ankle injury for the rest of my life.  Well, it's gone.  Feeling returned at around day 4. 

ALL of my excess weight
Obviously, this is a cost.  Seriously.  It's shameful, but true.  My diet would be great if it weren't for candy.  My extra is simply due to the accumulation of fat storage in my abdomen as a result of eating way to much sugar over the years.  

Missing social engagements
Again, this is a cost and it's because of literally not having anything appropriate to wear simply from gaining weight. 

Sleep issues
My RN cousin told me to cut out the sugar NOW.  Well, she was right.  I sleep like a baby and go to sleep right away on most nights.

Irritability and mood swings
One of the ingredients in one of my favorite candies causes mood swings, irritability, and confusion.  Well, I was moody, irritable, and walked around in a mental fog until this detox.  I was shocked to read that when I researched the ingredients.  We really are what we eat.  It went away at around day 4. 

It is very shameful to know what you need to fix and feel powerless to fix it.  With God's help and the help of a friend, I took my power back. 

This isn't a self-defeating moment, just a reality check.
What has it been costing you? Even if you don't share, think about it.