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.

Where you go, I’ll go

As we are all adjusting to our new house, one of the features we’ve never had is a stand shower in the master suite.

I am also working on the transition into my new job: being a stay at home mom. I’ve found going from being a working mom to a stay at home mom hasn’t been as smooth as I anticipated.

All of us are getting used to our new family life, including the kids. Lauren and Jackson are both adjusting in their own ways. Lauren, in particular, must know where I am at all times, and prefers to be in the same room as me (which, by the way, has limited how quickly I am able to unpack the house).

Yesterday while the kids were playing in their rooms, I needed to shower before friends were coming over. So, I told them what I was doing and left the door open so I could hear them, just in case.

The moment I turned on the water, Lauren was in the bathroom, desperately trying to get through the curtains to me. Nothing would stop her, so finally I relented, thinking if she got a spray of water in her face, she’d back out and go back to her play.

I was wrong.

She walked right in, dressed and ready for her playdate, looked up with a smile as she got soaked and then sat right down, ready to wait until I was finished.

So, I proceeded with my shower, and she continued to sit by my feet, content because she was by my side.

Lauren in the shower

God definitely used Lauren to break through to me with His love and assurance, and remind me of how I need to be pursuing Him.

I need to go wherever God is, no matter the circumstances to get there or what it’s like when I arrive.

Ruth 1:16 reads:
But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.

I must be tenacious in my pursuit of Christ and make my life mission to be at His side no matter what.  The point is, I’m with Jesus and that’s all that matters.