Friday, January 6, 2012

My new goal words for 2012

This past Sunday, and first day of the new year,  as we waited for Sacrament meeting to start, my mother-in-law leaned over and said "So, what are your words this year?" 

To be honest, amidst Christmas extravaganza 2011, I hadn't given on lick of thought to my words this year.  With that little reminder, my mind went into ponder mode, and by the time church was over I'd received each of the focus words for me and each of "my boys" (which includses Benny, if your new to reading me.)

There is lots of revelation I really work hard for, searching, studying, asking, but these words have always just come. Like a late Christmas present, floating down from a loving Heavenly Father wanting me to know He's gonna be there for me this year too, to "guide the future as He has the past" (Be Still my Soul, Hymn 124)  And each year his first guidance is my words.

With no further ado, this year's:

I love the one for Ben. Counsel. A step up from last years "involve", it suggests trust and partnership, focus and unity. He has so much to offer our family. He has grown so much in his leadership skills at work and I'm excited to see them transfer to a greater degree to our home.

Aaron's as interesting. I thought maybe it was "Hold on" as inn don't give up and keep hoping, or even holding him from escaping from our family life in attempts to isolate himself. 
But it wasn't.
It was just "hold him".
He would snuggle all day if I let him, but I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I'm guilty of pushing him away, not wanting to interrupt my "important" doings to have my hair pulled--however lovingly. Today as he curled his ever-growing legs up onto my lap during church, I realized he is not going to remain "cuddle-able" size indefinitely. I need to snuggle him while I can. I think so much of Aaron's affection, attachment and even sense of worth, even belonging come from his physical interactions. It's his love language for sure. There's so much expected of him, really hard things, that aren't hard for others. I'm sure he struggles with discouragement at times beneath his giggling.
 I want to always hold him close to us and let him know he, just as he is, is enough. Enough to love. Enough to hold

McKye's is very different. I was thumbing through a hymnbook and the word "bid" lept out at me. 
I choose it without even really knowing what it meant or how it applied to my intense little McKye.
When I looked it up

bid: to issue a command; to direct;to invite to attend; summon
It was so perfect. 

It is, however, going to take some courage on my part. 
I'm not very authoritative in my parenting approach (could you tell?) if anything I error to the side of permissiveness and realize the challenge (like in everything) is to strike a good balance.
While I don't believe in controlling kids, the word "bid" made me feel like I needed to trust McKye more, and believe in his capacity to learn to obey, not in fear or coercion, but in cooperation and loving trust. In order for him to grow he needs to think and choose and act.

I need to stop avoiding asking him to act (rather than be acted upon) out of my own fears of my own lack of follow through (any body else have this problem?) Invitations to obey, to learn, and to ultimately grow and become something (independent of mommy's directions).

I'm pretty good at providing him options, and sometimes I feel like our little existence is a continual round of me offering him opportunities to choose this cup or that, these undies or those (he's a bit of a control seeker and I found this really helped him feel a bit more empowered). Now to let him choose, not just between equally acceptable options but to practice between right and wrong, in the form of listening to mommy or not. This may seem a bit "late", but if I've learned anything about parenting it's that you go at the kids pace, or else it's just frustration all the way. And I think he's ready. Ready to start feeling more contribution, more thought processes, more ideas of his own, more problem solving after a year of constant observing and immeasurable absorption. I refuse to be a dictator and I love the principle I heard (somewhere)  of instead of telling our kids GO (go clean your room, go do your homework), we should say COME (come, let's clean up, come lets help get super ready). 
Initially so much more work, but so more effective in the long run. 

After only a couple of days of being brave and bidding McKye, I have been amazed how ready he is to start acting for himself. There's still lots of "no, mommy do!"s, but there's also such a growing sense of ability and accomplishment. I love when his little face beams with it, and he  pumps his little fists to accentuate his oh so proud "I did it!"

Ah Levi.
On Sunday I had wandered from our pew to the back, pacing with Levi in my arms, giving him a change of scenery in what was fast becoming a long meeting. I was contemplated the words I chose thus far and wondering about his, when he reached his little face over, with his kissy-eyes, offering me a little open-mouth, slobber-filled beginners kiss. And as he planted one on me, his word came too.
With my other boys by this time another baby was either already "in the works" or "on the way". And although we're not done having kids we're on a much needed and I feel, divinely sanctioned "break". And so I have the luxury of holding on to Levi's babyhood more so than with his brothers, who had to grow up and become big brothers all too soon.
I just get to bask in his squish-able cheeks, and wide eyes. Watch his fascinated with his own tongue,  or wiggling toes. I get to still chuckle inside when I watch him toddle so fast you're sure he's gonna bif it, but he rarely does. I get to try and remember every new expression, every determined and oh so concentrated manoeuvre of his tubby baby fingers on their quest to pick up peas or Cheerios or carpet fuzz, on their journey past his lips so relaxed their moisture inevitably runs to drool. His gurgling-chokey chuckle when I tickle under his chin. His baby smile of budding teeth. His still wispy blonde locks, that gleam in the light streaming across his high chair.
Levi is the dessert of my young mother years. And I'm ready to savour ever last delicious, whip-creamy bite. Enjoy! (mmm, anyone else suddenly hungry?)

Pictures taken by Photos by Kels

I need to think a little more on mine. Purify.  Partly I think it is purifying my choices and the subsequent messages they place inside me. But I think it also has to do with pureness being an essence.  
Beyond simplifying, but seeking out the pureness of the essential things in life. 
Boiling life down, til all the extra, all the superfluous, all the impure melts away leaving only 
what really matters. 

This passage is still sticking to the insides of my brain.
She laughed again. "You know, some things don't matter that much...

the whole problem with people is--"

"They don't now what matters and what doesn't," I said, filling in her sentence and feeling proud of myself for doing so.

"I was gonna say, The problem is they know what matters, but they don't choose it...

The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters."

(The Secret Life of Bees,  by Sue Monk Kidd, pg 147) 

I know these words that the Lord gives me are to help me focus on what matters. 
A focal point, that blurs everything eles into fuzzy-insignificance.

Now to maintain the focus. 
To counsel, to hold, to bid, to enjoy and to purify. 
At least for this year.


Just Rhonda said...Best Blogger Tips

You're just so so smart. And spiritual. And lovely. Love how you pick a word for each member of the fam. Lovely idea - one I will have to ponder and mull over for our own family.

Liesel said...Best Blogger Tips

I think I'm a dictator. Strong willed mom + sting willed bronwyn = major issues. Hmmm. Maybe a post on bidding vs dictating is in order.

Chelsea Belle said...Best Blogger Tips

well Rhonda, you have me pondering many an idea for my family....which one of your many great ideas to do?!?

Zenamamma said...Best Blogger Tips

love the idea of putting your goals for the year into one word! Love your blog- Chelsea, mothering is hard at its best, add autism to the mix is a greater challenge! But, I remind myself, there are also rewards!