Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sparks of Inspiration

After several days full of bickering kids and temper tantrums, I was at the end of my rope.  I woke up early one recent morning full of resolve to help my children connect better, to teach them to speak more lovingly and respond more kindly to each other.

During my morning quiet time I was impressed to do something I hadn't tried before: pray with my children individually at the start of the day.  We pray together often: over meals, at bedtime, individually, and as a family. But I'd never thought to have one-on-one morning prayers with my kids. I felt it would be a great way to start off the day on the best possible foot and to help them feel God's love for them before they had a chance to fight with each other.

When my son came into my room that morning, tousle-haired and bleary-eyed, I scooped him up.  I wrapped us both in a large fluffy blanket and knelt on the floor with him on my lap.  I prayed aloud about him and for him, naming all the things I admired about him and the progress he's been making in certain areas as well as my hopes for how he would behave that day.  I finished praying and love for this often difficult, but always amazing boy filled my heart.

I found my daughter downstairs reading a book and went through the same praying routine with her. She is too big to sit on my lap, but we knelt together and held hands as I prayed. Again I was filled to bursting with love for my miraculous children.

We finished the prayer and went upstairs for breakfast.  By the time those two children had been in the same room for 30 seconds, they had already begun slinging hurtful words at each other.

Disheartened and discouraged, I helped them work through their disagreement.  In my frustration I thought, "What was the prompting to pray with them even for?  It didn't make a shred of difference in their behavior!"  I was answered by a soft and gentle rebuke: "The prompting wasn't for them.  It was for you."  For me.  I thought back over the loving feelings I had experienced and the increased patience I felt as I helped them through their fight.

I had been blessed with distinct and specific guidance.  A light switch of inspiration like David Bednar spoke of . A way to change my heart each and every morning, so I can (over time) help to change the hearts of my children.

The answer to my searching and prayer did not come in the way I had expected.  But, once again, it was exactly what I needed to hear.  

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