Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blogaholics Anonymous

Lots of good links this week!  Enjoy.

Good Bye - Viewing life from the perspective of a newly arrived older child.  This blogger really knows how to tell a story.

Attachment Tips - Calling all adoptive parents.  Here's a great list of practical ways to attach with your adopted child.

Parents, Please Educate Your Kids About Adoption So Mine Don't Have To - Blogger Kristen Howerton, from Rage Against the Minivan, created a firestorm over at Huffington Post yesterday with this gutsy post.

Sabbath Sailing - Just reading this article made me feel relaxed.  Would you consider "unplugging" on the Sabbath to spend time enjoying God's creation?

Shading the Truth to Ease the Fears of Adoptive Parents - A challenging post by an adult adoptee.  Do adoption professionals always act in the best interest of the child?

10 Ways to Help a New Mom - great post with great advice.  I'd love to have someone write something like this for moms adopting older kids.  In my experience those first few months are every bit as challenging as the first months with a new baby.

Dear 22 Year Old Me - What would you say to your 22 year old self?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blogaholics Anonymous

I'm a blog addict, an information junkie. I read decorating blogs, home organization blogs, adoption blogs, political blogs - anything that makes me learn or think or laugh or grow. Here's a smattering of posts I've enjoyed lately. Disclaimer: By posting these links, I'm not saying I endorse all the views expressed; but I am saying they made me think. 

Invisible Milestones - "How's he doing?"  It's hard to measure attachment in an adopted child.

Extending Grace in Relationships - You don't want to miss this post by one of my favorite authors.

Raising an Olympian - How the mom of gold medalist, Gabby Douglas, made some "outside the box" decisions to help Gabby become an Olympian.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Raising Winners

It's fun to win.

This weekend, Julia's team placed in a national soccer tournament, and as you can see in the photo, it's fun to win.

Between our weekend-long soccer tournament and watching the Olympics on TV, I've been thinking a lot about my children and raising winners.

And I've decided that more than anything, I want to raise children who are winners in relationships.

What will it profit my kids to have a shelf full of awards, if their lives are littered with broken relationships? As fun as it is to smile for the camera and hold up a big trophy today, it's our relationships with people that count in the end. People are eternal. Trophies aren't.

My job as a Christian mom is to teach my kids what the Bible says about resolving conflict. They need to hear me say it -- over and over again -- and see me live it.

God made the family a perfect place to learn about living in relationship with others. You know the squabbling and bickering and sibling rivalry? The tattling? The tears?

Opportunities -- all of them. Opportunities to learn to resolve conflict God's way.

One of my favorite principles from scripture, is what I'll call the "go to them" principle for resolving conflict. Did someone wrong me? Matthew 18: 15-17 says I should go to them and talk with them about it.

Am I aware that someone feels I wronged them?  Matthew 5: 23-24 says going to them has to be my priority. It says to drop what I'm doing -- even if what I'm doing is worshiping God -- and go to them. What do I do when I go?  I listen. I humble myself and really listen. I work hard for reconciliation.

Do you see a pattern here? It's always my move. When someone hurts me. I'm to go to them. When I'm aware that someone feels hurt by me. I'm to go to them. Always my move. Every time. With reconciliation as the goal.

It's uncomfortable.  Sometimes scary.  Even after years of trying to practice this in my life, I can find all sorts of good reasons not to do it.  But God's Word is pretty clear.

Back in 2010, I wrote about training my kids to resolve conflict with each other. Here we are, two years later, still working on some of the same things.

But then I remember those Olympic athletes.  Not one of those gold medalists got to the podium by just taking a few quick lessons.  They got there by constant training and constant practice.  The people who win big train for years and years and years.

This morning, Julia -- the one holding the big trophy in the photo above -- woke before everyone else and came out to join me on the sofa. I mentioned to her that one of her actions last night hurt Katherine's feelings. Julia shared that Katherine had misinterpreted the situation. Julia and I read from Matthew 5 together, and I encouraged her to go to Katherine and make things right.

Lots of training. Behind the scenes. When no one's watching.

I suppose winners in relationships aren't made overnight either.