I almost blew it!

Happy Monday! The winner of Micca’s book is Renee and Cullen!

Oh, I almost blew it on Friday. Well, I sorta did blow it but
thank you Jesus, I caught my self just as it was happening and shut my mouth before I really blew it!

I was trying so hard to be a good mom and encourage one of my kids that’d had a hard day. Someone at school was being mean to him, using mean words to tear him down. It made me so mad. I know what it’s like to be hurt by mean words so it taps into a tender place when I see or hear about it happening to someone else – especially one of my kids!

I tried to counter the mean words with encouragement. I tapped into my Jr High cheerleading skills, pulled out my internal pom-poms and started doing cheers for him about how g-r-e-a-t he is and how God’s using him in so many ways and all that sappy mom stuff. He just wanted a brownie and for me to drop it. He faked a smile, said thanks and headed upstairs. Ten minutes later I heard that same child being really mean to his brother and using his words as a weapon. Something in me snapped and I started threatening to take away every bit of his brownie and his freedom if he didn’t apologize.

What happened to the nice and encouraging mom? She was still mad about the school incident and when she saw it happening in her own home, she blew it!

Later I realized I had become part of the whole cycle of one hurt person hurting another. It helped me realize that the child who is being mean to my kid is probably hurting inside so he’s striking out to hurt someone else. Then my kid gets hurt and he strikes out at home and hurts his brother. Then I get hurt and I strike out and the crazy circle continues.

I know, I am supposed to be more mature and all. Well, when I realized I had contributed to the cycle, we had a good talk and my hurt child realized and apologized for what he’d said and done. And so did I.

This morning it was time to go back to school after a break from the hard knocks of school life. God reminded me how much courage it would take for my kid to face the possibility of conflict again. Instead of letting the cycle continue I decided to start a circle instead. I replaced the cycle of criticism with a circle of encouragement. I know kinda cheesy but it worked. I encourage my kid with words God had given me this morning in Psalm 23. I asked him read it out loud on our way to school. He said he could feel how close God was and it gave him courage. As I dropped him off I asked him to look for ways use the gift of words to build someone up just as God was building him up. My prayer is that God will build a bridge to the heart of the kid who was mean and maybe my child can encourage him one day.

How powerful that we can use our words to encourage our kids and help them overcome challenges? Our encouragement helps them realize their potential and become who God created them to be. None of us can deny that we dread rejection from our peers or fear getting hurt.

There are so many kids (and adults) who never reach their fullest potential and what often holds them back is a lack of courage. What often deters them is negative words from someone along the way. Jesus used words to give people courage. Through His words, He drew their eyes off of who they were and pointed them towards who they could become. As a mom, I want to be the all-important catalyst for my child to become all that God has designed him to be by believing in him and offering courage through my words. And when I blow it and jump on the cycle, I can apologize and start a new circle.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. what an encouraging story to share thanks for the encouragement.

  2. what an encouraging story to share thanks for the encouragement.

  3. That really hits home for me. I am so good at being a hypocrite sometimes. I feel like Paul “I do not want to do the things I am doing but find myself doing them anyway -SIN!!!”

    Thanks for sharing!
    Shan
    sbcgentile@yahoo.com

  4. Renee,

    I think it is so important for parent’s to realize that sometimes we say hurtful things to our children. For me a lot of, if not most of the time it comes out of a place of momentary response of anger or hurt. But to go back to your child, no matter how old they are, and ask their forgiveness shows them the cycle can be broken. Hurtful words don’t have to be who we are. I think the best part of your story is that God’s forgiveness allows the crazy cycle to stop by our choice. Way to go mom, you didn’t blow it. Aren’t you glad you had the brownie there as well, never hurts?
    Diane

  5. Words are powerful. I find myself doing the same thing you did. I blow it alot with my kids and I am really trying to do better. Thank you so much for being honest about your mistakes. You give me courage to be honest instead of wearing my “everything is great” mask.

  6. “Through His words, He drew their eyes off of who they were and pointed them towards who they could become.” Oh how I love this thought — not only the Jesus did it (does it), but that I can try to be that in my child’s life too. I didn’t have that as a child, at all, and how wonderful it is to read this and have a reminder of the woman/mother I want to be.

    Also, way to go for apologizing to your son. I know so many parents that will not humble themselves to do it…I have started with my 3 year old and while I am not sure if she gets the weight of the moment, I certainly do. And I hope those words now will echo into her future and help us have a strong, trusting bond.

    Thanks!

  7. Provertbs 18:21! Also, thanks for being real.

  8. I just commented on Lysa’s blog about how I have been thinking about my words lately – so it’s fresh on my brain – perfect for me this morning.

    I love reading about how you and your boys interact and discuss life. It’s encouraging for me.

    Thank you, Renee!

    Have a blessed day,
    Kate 🙂

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing… and being hurtful can be a cycle… from one person to the next. WE need to realize to love through our hurt… and be kind!

    Thanks for the encouragement!
    Angie
    angiehamlet@gmail.com

  10. God is amazing. Has been placing the things that need. He has been placing those things in my life that are pulling me from Him, to the forefront to deal with. Prayer and Anger. Yesterday and today the devotional on Proverbs 31 was dealing with prayer, but even before I read the devotional yesterday morning, I had alrady heard God speaking to me about prayer through another means. The anger issue… it’s exactly what you talk about in your blog today. God has been dealing with me that I’ve got to get this under control before its too late. I just got a book that I’m reading called “Parenting is Heart Work”. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Such a fine line that is easily crossed when we talk to our children out of hurt, disappointment, anger, etc. My boys constantly fuss at one another – “How come he gets to do this or that” – “If I can’t do it, then he can’t either” – “Mom! He won’t clean up after himself” – “MOM…MOM…MOM!!!”. My hair turns gray by the day dealing with the bickering.
    I try to remember how Jesus would talk to them – at the same time – God even disciplines those he loves. Wow. My husband and I being newly married experience many tough times because of the things the boys do/say. They aren’t “bad”, they just don’t always do and say the right things.
    This devotion brought to me today is a wonderful reminder about encouraging my boys to be better. Not just because I want them to be better, but because they should strive for that to make Jesus proud of them. In turn, they will be proud of themselves and feel the love of Jesus.
    Thank you Renee for giving me this insight.
    Faithfully His,
    Melissa Brown

  12. I can sooo relate to your story! I have had to learn to hold my tongue and take a deep breath before I speak. I have also had to remind myself the power of words. I have had to pray over and over again for strength and wisdom. Thanks for the encouragement!

  13. I see this cycle in my home as well among siblings. I remember it from my childhod as well, bigger sibling gets into trouble and flies off the handle on younger sibling. As a parent, I too am guility get lots of pracitice apologizing!

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