Safe place

Without fail, if a storm is in full swing at night, Lauren will end up in my room.

Without fail, if a storm is in full swing at night, Lauren will end up beside me.

At our house, thunderstorms equal slumber parties.

Recently during one particularly nasty storm, I heard little feet running quickly through the living room and knew my little girl was in a hurry to be with me. I quickly lifted up the covers, and Lauren jumped in and grabbed hold of me. When she stopped shaking and started breathing deeply, I gathered her sleeping bag and stuffed animals to make up a makeshift bed on the floor near me. A little while later, thunder shook the house and Jackson appeared. A quick glance at the radar on my phone let me know this storm was going to be raging through the night, so I made him a spot on the floor in our room, too.

For whatever reason, the kids always appear on my side of the bed when thunder rolls. Or when they have a bad dream. Or when they wake up for whatever reason!

When they are scared, they come to me.

I am their safe place.

A few minutes after our family sleepover was underway, both my phone and my husband’s phone emergency alarms went off, and scared us all. Matt jumped up thinking we were under a tornado watch and tripped right over my son’s makeshift bed. Though we were just under a flood watch, at this point in the night, we were definitely all wide awake! We laid back down, and did our best to fall asleep as the lightning flashed around our house.

It was then that I heard my son start to pray.

He wasn’t praying to be heard, but I couldn’t help to listen and echo his words in my heart. Jackson was simply talking to his Heavenly Father, asking for God to keep us all safe in the midst of the bad storm and for us to be able to get the rest we needed.

God is his safe place.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
– Psalm 4:8

When I am scared, when I am unsure, when I begin to worry or when I don’t know what to do, God tells me to run to Him. He doesn’t want me to delay. Whether it is lunchtime or three in the morning, God longs for me to come to Him. He is the only One who can surround me with peace and keep me safe. He alone can quiet my soul and give me the rest I desperately need.

He is my safe place.

Tone

As a mom, I set the tone in our house.

My attitude, work ethic and enthusiasm directly influence my children and husband. If I am centered in Christ and actively engaged with my family, even if their attitudes stink, our day isn’t sunk. However, if I am short-tempered and distant, we’re bound for failure.

I am just coming to grips with the power God has entrusted to me as a mom. As I am gaining traction and becoming more comfortable in my role as a stay-at-home mom, God is beginning to open my eyes to the incredible opportunity I have to shape my family in our walk with Christ.

Though sometimes it feels like I am learning by trial and error (and often more error), God always brings me back full circle, helping me to understand how my attitude is paramount to my family’s stability, peace and even joy in our daily lives.

This morning was one of those cases of learning from my mistakes.

Per usual on the mornings I take Jackson to school, we were running behind. Really that means I didn’t get everything moving early enough, which increases the likelihood that drama will ensue. I also have a child (Jackson) who refuses to be rushed in any way. So, when it took 15 minutes for him to take two bites of waffle and then decide he didn’t want to eat any more, I allowed my patience to run thin, and the situation quickly escalated. My demeanor met his bad attitude, and instead of setting the tone, I lowered it. It became a battle of the wills, which usually results in everyone losing. Each task Jackson had to complete became a fight, from brushing his teeth to putting on his shoes. As I hurtled us out the door with just enough minutes to arrive at school on time if I hit it hard on the gravel road, we were all strung out and Jackson was in tears.

I quickly buckled Lauren in and came around the other side of the car to do the same for Jackson. Then I stopped. I couldn’t let Jackson go to school like this. Yes, Jackson was disobedient this morning, but I was the one driving the drama. So, I chose to be the one to reclaim the morning and make things right.

I asked Jackson to forgive me for the way I had been responding to him and told him I was sorry I wasn’t acting the way I knew Jesus wanted me to. He forgave me, and we hugged and kissed. Immediately, his attitude changed, and we laughed and prayed as we drove to school for us to have a great day and be the boy (and mom) God wanted us to be.

Just like that, the day’s outlook changed!

I’m so glad that in my parent/child relationship with my Heavenly Father, He is constant in His character and consistent in His great love and mercy. He is always faithful, and is never swayed by my attitude problems and frustrating behaviors. His mercy never ends, and He responds in every situation with the grace I need to bring me back to His protective and loving arms. It is Christ who gives me the strength I need to be the mom He created me to be. It is because of the prompting and power of the Holy Spirit that I can help guide my family to grow in our love for God and for each other.

When it comes to my faith, it is God that sets the tone. And through Him, God is helping me to learn how to do the same for my family.