Due to one sick kid and me not feeling so great, I was only able to make the morning part of today’s pre-conference for adoptive moms.
Dr. Donna Thoennes is a professor at Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute and the adoptive mother of two beautiful girls from Tawain.
Donna’s topic was “rest”. That’s a big one for us mom’s isn’t it? You don’t need to be an adoptive mom to feel like you’re getting pulled a hundred different directions.
There were so many great little things I wrote down so I’m going to bullet point some and expand on others.
- Sometimes we offer emaciated encouragement to each other (“cute shoes”) and forget to give real gospel encouragement.
- Why are we so quick to criticize ourselves. God doesn’t bring kids into our families to make us feel defeated. He does it to make himself known.
- Did you know the NT only has two verses about parenting and they are both directed at fathers? There isn’t a long list of stuff we must do as moms. That should be freeing.
- Know the difference between conviction (from the Holy Spirit) and condemnation (Satan).
Donna totally hit the nail on the head when she said we are told the lie that our minds and hearts are NOT connected. That our emotions just come at us, they’re just something that happens and the people around us should just deal with it and not judge us.
“How we feel is directly related to what we think about something. We have to start with the hard work of thinking about them correctly.” This is where she brought up the point that we need to “rehearse” the gospel. Just like you rehearsing for a play requires so much time studying lines that you learn them until it is natural for you to say them. So to should our time spent in the scripture, training our mind, change the way we naturally think about things. We have a responsibility to think correctly about the grace God has shown us and let it train our emotions in how we parent our children.
This quote stopped me in my tracks for a couple of seconds…
“We are NOT the primary influence in our kids lives.”
Of course you know who is. God.
But oh my goodness do I forget that. I feel like it’s 100% my responsibility to make sure my kids behave, do well in school, play nice with their friends, treat their siblings well and grow up to be responsible God-fearing adults.
Have I mentioned before that I’m a control freak?
That was my biggest takeaway from the morning. I need to trust God more with my children and release some of the pressure that I’m carrying that I don’t need to be carrying.
Donna left us with this acrostic.
Portrait of a Mom At Rest
R – Rehearses the gospel
E – Establishes boundaries (we don’t need to prove anything to anyone)
S – Satisfied with God’s will for her and doesn’t long for someone else’s life
T – Trusts God w/ their children
Two book recommendations she made (and I’ve added them to my Amazon Wish List):
Parenting Is Your Highest Calling: And Eight Other Myths That Trap Us in Worry and Guilt by Leslie Leyland Fields
Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick