I had the blessed opportunity to spend exactly 15 minutes on the phone with Lisa Whelchel on Thursday morning. It was an honor for me and here’s why: Lisa’s book, Creative Correction, was life changing for me as a mama.
I first read it when my kids were all little bitty guys. Reading Creative Correction helped me understand that my job was NOT to raise good kids just so that I could feel good about being a good mom. Somehow I hadn’t figured that out yet. I was very focused at that time on making sure my kids obeyed and acted the way they should (not a bad thing to focus on) BUT my motive was simply that I wanted to look good and not be embarrassed as a mother. Good kids meant I was a good mom, right?
Creative Correction opened my eyes to the fact that my goal as I was raising my boys was to teach them about Jesus. To instill Godly behavior in them and a heart for Christ. To teach them scripture and a love for the Lord. It had nothing to do with ME at all.
I was so grateful for the chance to tell Lisa “thank you” phone to phone. It was truly a delight.
Over the course of the next few days, I’ll be sharing parts of my conversation with Lisa. I appreciate all the great question ideas you sent my way and well…I have to apologize because while they were on my list…fifteen minutes goes very quickly and I barely had a chance to get through many questions at all. Hopefully you’ll all enjoy hearing what she had to say, even if it didn’t answer your specific question! Here’s the first question I asked Lisa…
“You had three babies in three years…many of my readers are in that season of life right now trying to juggle life with lots of little ones. What encouragement can you offer moms with little ones?”
“I’d say do as little as possible outside of being a mom. Don’t put your kids in a bunch of activities. Don’t be involved yourself in a lot of extra activities. You don’t need to try to lead a Bible study…don’t even go to a bunch of Bible studies if getting there takes too much out of you. There are so many good things to do, but you may need to give up even some of the good things you’re interested in doing so that you can do what you need to do for your family. Raising little ones takes a lot out of us and if we give a lot of our energy to outside things, we don’t have anything left for our family. This is a short season in life…later you can do more of the other things you feel are important, but right now raising your little ones is the most important. Spend time putting a bunch of meals in the freezer once a month so that all you have to do is heat something up for dinner and not spend time putting gourmet food on the table every night. Do everything you can to eliminate what is not necessary so that you can focus your energy on what is necessary.”
Laura’s follow-up thoughts:
I remember struggling to get out of the door by 9:30 for a Ladies’ Bible Study each Thursday morning when my boys were tiny (nursing, in diapers, potty training…). I don’t remember a thing about what we studied during those years. What I do remember is feeling like I wanted to CRY every single Thursday by the time I finally got there (late) and fought my kids to get into the nursery. Don’t even get me started on how much it wrecked their nap schedule and threw the entire day off and created a lot of grouchiness (the kids were usually grouchy too).
Why did I keep doing it week after week? Because it was “a good thing to do”. Because I felt like I should. Because I didn’t want to let the other ladies down. I don’t completely regret going…I formed some wonderful relationships with many of the older women from church. However, could I have cut myself some slack during those years? Could I have instead worked in some quiet Bible study at home by myself during their morning nap? Might I have saved my children from having a worn out, grumpy mom every Thursday afternoon and Friday morning (because I would then be behind on other things.)? Maybe so.
I think it’s good to look at the reasons we do what we’re doing, no matter what season in life we are in. What IS best for my family right now? What do I need to eliminate so that I can be the best wife and mom I can be? I’d love for you all to share your thoughts on this topic!
P.S. You know I agreed with Lisa’s statement about putting a bunch of food in the freezer for easy warm up!! :)
Coming up next: Lisa talks about raising teenagers and having young adult children