09 January, 2016

God Give Us #ChristianHomes by Jim Faughn Book #Review and #Giveaway

     Oh man... I struggle.  I struggle with a lot of things, the top on the list being the kids.  They make me so proud and so angry, so excited and so sad all in the same day.  Each one of them.  My emotions are all over the place each and every day and sometimes I get so overwhelmed.  When all of them are making me angry at once, oh boy!  Or when I feel like everywhere I turn I am being ignored, like I'm not even there, like I'm not even a person...  I hate that!  Or when they all are being loud all day and it seems like it's all echoing off every wall in the house, it's maddening!  I sure do struggle.
     I'm not gonna lie, I've said things I can never take back, things I regret.  I've done things too.  I've snapped and blamed, and cursed when things get to be too much.  One day, truth be told, I ran away.  It was just for the day, but I did.  And do you know what happened?  It was a Sunday, the last day of a super long weekend and I was driving through town, barely able to see through my tears and when I passed the church this overwhelming urge came over me to stop, like all I needed in the world right then was to go in.  I didn't know anybody and it didn't matter, I was being called.  I needed to go in.  I didn't.
     But I did go on medication, which only made things worse for a while, because then people had a reason to point at me like I was losing my mind.  It was no longer a situation that was causing me to be buried in despair, it was a "condition".  Man, did that only make me more mad, made me feel like any chance I had at things getting better was gone.  It made me feel even more hopeless.  I just kept thinking that no parent should ever feel how I was feeling, no parent should hate their life and dread their kids.  I love my kids, don't get me wrong.  It's because I love them so deeply with everything I have that their actions and words hurt me the way they do.
     I know, I know, they're just kids.  They are just kids, but they're my kids and they're a reflection of me.  My reflection shouldn't make me so upset, you know?
     I don't know what God's plan is.  Sometimes I think I see clear paths and sometimes I feel completely abandoned.  But when my Memere died a couple months after that day and the funeral was led by the pastor of that very church that I passed... I knew I was meant to go there.  Of all the churches in all the towns, of all the pastors that preach... he preached at the one I was compelled to stop at, an easy half hour away from where my Memere lived, at least.
     My aunt happened to be pretty close to the pastor's wife and introduced me and The Big One to her.  And even though everything in me wanted to bolt out the door and avoid new people, I let it happen.  I even took it upon myself to seek my aunt out when it looked like she'd forgotten.  Again, I was compelled.  And you know what?  I went.  I didn't know a single person in that congregation except for a woman I'd barely just met.  Truth be told, don't tell her I told you, but when she saw me come into the church and was all excited to see me and gave me a big hug... I didn't even recognize her.  That's how little I knew the only person that I knew.  But I went.  Me... the shyest person I've ever known.
     And it was my children's first experience with a church.  We went weekly for a long time.  We made friends and went to events, it was life changing for me.  And now?  We don't go so much.  Things happened and circumstances got in the way of us going for a while.  And though those circumstances have since changed, I haven't dared to start bringing them back yet.  Here's why:
     My kids publicly humiliate me on a daily basis.  In fact, losing my vehicle may have been the best thing to happen to my will to live in years.  And here's the thing, I'm not the kind of person who can laugh it off and bounce back.  Nope, I'm that timid little girl who wrung her hands when she had to be on stage and nearly cried as she mouthed the words so no one would hear her sing... that's me.  Now picture everyone else on that stage and in that audience pointing and laughing... that's how my kids make me feel.  They used to be so good for me in public.  We'd have a very serious discussion before entering the store about acceptable behavior and such, and leave the store in practically one piece emotionally, treat in hand for reward.  They weren't perfect, but good.  Now?  Well, every other trip to the store ends in tears for me.  And it's not like I can afford a second trip, so I have to finish what I'm getting or go without for the week.
     I know what you're thinking, maybe I don't discipline them enough, maybe I'm not consistent, maybe I spoil them.  I can assure, you I discipline them enough.  I feel like I am always disciplining them, sometimes I worry I am too strict.  I especially feel that way when I see other parents who never raise their voice, have the patience of a monk, and kids that seem to practically raise themselves.  I try to be consistent, as consistent as my memory allows.  There were a couple times I forgot a kid was supposed to be in time out and they snuck away, or when I've forgotten a kid was grounded and they got away with video games for the day.  But for the most part, I've done the best I can.  I can't snap my fingers and have a better memory, so it is what it is.  As far as spoiled, maybe you have a point there.  I did try my best over the summer to make sure that every day had so much free fun jammed in it that we'd pass out by day's end.  And we did definitely have a blast.  Maybe they are having a hard time grasping the reality of the school year being back in full swing.  But we're half way through the year, so you know... time to shape up and be grateful for the months that we had.

     Point is, taking them to church would pretty much be the icing on the cake for me, it would be like "Hey fellow gentle people, look at my poorly raised children cause a ruckus in your quiet place of worship, and watch me cry as I wrangle them up with the speed and grace of a two legged tortoise.  We'll see you next week when we host our very own sibling brawl in pew no. 3!"
     I've done my best to raise them, I really have.  There were times when I should have protected them better, defended them better, had more patience, had more strength.  But no human is perfect and I certainly have my weaknesses.  Time to try what I haven't tried.  Time to be a better role model myself and set a better, more Christianly example.
     It's my biggest resolution this year, to build a happier home that's more peaceful and Word-oriented.  I know that my kids and I can get there, it's just a matter of taking the steps.  And right there to help us on our way is the perfect guide, God Give Us Christian Homes, a book by Jim Faughn.
     This book has so many wonderful insights and truths from times long gone and also from the present.  It really brings you to see things that you didn't see before.  I feel like I'm not alone when I'm reading this book.  I feel like there's been thousands of years of parents going thorough the exact struggles that I am... and that's because there have been.
      From Adam and Eve and all the way up through there have been struggles just as I'm having.  Different, sure.  Kids even a hundred years ago never heard, "No electronics for a week".  But the disrespect, the bad manners and sibling rivalry, it's always been there.  This book gives help with finding the purpose in discipline and what's meant to be gained from it, including respect, among many other useful things.
     I'll be using this book to find a better normal for my kids and myself.  And since I was sent a second book by mistake, I'm offering you that same chance.  Don't worry, I was told to give it away.  So here's the thing, just enter with this neat little Rafflecopter tool below and that's it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Except for the product(s) given to me for the purpose of reviewing, I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


The Forever Joyful Homeschool said...

Praise God His lavish grace covers all our sins and shortcomings. I think it's great raising godly children is one of your goals for 2016. Only He can enable us to raise our children to His glory. I pray that you will find peace as you seek His continual guidance in your own Christian life and as you raise your children. Please link up your literacy-related posts such as this one at our Literacy Musing Mondays linkup. #LMMLinkup. http://www.foreverjoyful.net/?p=731

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