Tuesday, September 7, 2010

When The Momma's Happy Everybody's Happy

As I was reading through Sacred Marriage, I realized a common theme among the chapters.

This little secret that I'm about to share with you has been reenforced by several other things I've been reading as well.  (Interesting how the Lord does that!)

It's nothing really new or profoundly clever but it has been a much-needed gentle reminder.

Are you ready for it?

I set the temperature / mood for the house.

You've heard the saying before, "When momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" and isn't that the truth!  I know those days when I am at wits end, completely overwhelmed and totally drained, if I choose not to control my emotions and hormones you better believe the kids and my baby's daddy know it.  I am forcing them to feel like they have to tiptoe around me just waiting to see what will set me off next.  This is simply their reaction to my attitude.

Then, there are other days when I feel completely in control and caught up on life's demands and my family feels the freedom to breathe.

As a wife and mother I have a responsibility to cling to Christ in a whole new way.  It's not only for me but for the family which the Lord has blessed me with.

Here are some mental things I've been working on to "set the mood" in our home:

I am working on (NOTE: working on - I am far from perfect and I don't imagine I'll ever have it down) staying calm while disciplining the kids.  I am trying to have a consistent, even tone and act with control.  This is a domino effect for the rest of the day, you know.  If I start off this way the kids know that I am working on self-control, and in return, they are more prone to exemplify self-control themselves.  And, well, if they are still having "one of those days", I can at least tolerate it more, ha!

For my wonderful, hard-working husband I am working on having realistic expectations.  He has a lot on his plate right now as he juggles being the worship pastor at Journey as well as keeping our ministry going.  Not to mention, being a father to three kid's yearning for his attention and a wife who needs him just as much, if not more.  I want him to feel like he can come home and breathe.  I want him to exhale when he walks in the door, not shrink away as he drives up to a house full of screaming kids and a wife who is pulling her hair out.

Here are some practical things I do on a regular basis to set this mood:

Light some candles.  Even if it's just one single candle on the kitchen table or counter that Josh can see as soon as he walks in, there is just something relaxing about a lit candle.

I put "simmer music" on.  It helps calm my nerves, as well as calm the kids down so they aren't jumping off the wall as soon as Josh walks in the door.  Nothing is more overwhelming than walking into a house  that mirrors a birthday party at Monkey Joe's!

I try to be proactive.  I keep a mental list of those times that habitually become chaotic and figure out a plan.  Around here it's dinner time. I ask Areyna and Zeke to sit down with Micaiah and play with him and try to keep him occupied so I can fix dinner without a whining child tugging on my leg as I drag him between the stove and the refrigerator.

I want to create a home environment that shouts God's love, grace and patience.  Aren't these the things that the Lord has lavished on my own life?  It doesn't all depend on me, but the majority of the "temperature" that is felt around the house is put off by me.

What temperature is your house?  What do you do to keep sanity in your home?
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