Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Causing a Scene

Do you ever feel like you're causing a scene just by walking into a room?

I get this feeling every time I walk into a public place!  You see, what's normal, every day life to me--caring for and toting around four children under four years of age--seems a little overwhelming to the common onlooker.  When I walk into a place with a car seat in each hand and a toddler on each heel, I see heads turn, I hear little murmurs or outright "You've got your hands full!"s; and I officially feel like I have created a scene.

I'm not saying that every person who sees me and my crew thinks I'm crazy or cursed (there are many out there who would agree that I am happy and blessed!) or that every person who makes a comment means it in a negative way.   I'm not even saying that I'm bothered by the fact that we just naturally tend to create a scene.  To the contrary, I feel like it gives me a great opportunity:  an opportunity to disband the belief that a mother of young children must feel frazzled and an opportunity to disprove the assumption that all children must act unruly.

I can just imagine a mother walking into a public place, her hands full (literally), her hair all a mess, her countenance full of sorrow, hopelessly beseeching her disobedient children to "Wait for me!"  That is NOT the kind of scene that I'm okay with creating! :-)  It sure wouldn't speak much to the joys of having children.  It sure wouldn't cause onlookers to say, "Look at that blessed mother."

I want to be the mother who walks into a place, hands full (literally), countenance full of peace and joy, enjoying the company of her obedient children who are calmly staying right by her side.  I want to be that mother not because I want onlookers to sing my praises, but because I want people to know that I am not "cursed."  I want people to know that it is possible to have four children under four years of age and to still have peace and joy.  I feel in a sense like this is my responsibility.  (Luke 12:48b says, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.")

And, there's no doubt, it is a big responsibility.  But, the good news is, He who requires much of me has also given much to me.  Not only has He given me four blessings, but He has also given me His Word which instructs me and His Spirit which guides me as I endeavor to train them up.  He has given me joy.  He has given me salvation.  He has given me everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

So, world.  As you look at me because of my full hands, I hope that what you see is my full heart. For there is my Jesus.  There is my hope.  There is my joy.  There is my peace.

7 comments:

Stefanie said...

You are blessed to have obedient children. We have been working with Landen, but haven't figured out what really works with him as far as getting him to stay close in a public place. He has no fear and as soon as we let go, he runs and it becomes a game when we chase him down. I am often embarrassed to take him shopping because he seems so out of control. The best way we have found to keep him close to us (for at least a while) is to let him help push the cart. What did you do to get your kids to be so obedient?

September said...

Creating a scene of great example is what I am sure you are doing.
Your post is such a testimony of walking with joy in your heart and knowing that all of your hard work at ohme is reaping great benefit.
I can just visualize you with carseats in tow, and your toddlers following behind.... it defintely makes me SMILE!
Keep looking up Angela!
Love ya!

Jessica Faith said...

great post - the world is not our example!!
your kids are adorable

Angie said...

Angela
I had 5 under 5 and I would get the same reaction. There were times when people would come up to me and ask me if I had "figured out what caused that" or they would say something like " do you not own a television"?

I would just smile and say- children are a blessing and a heritage from the Lord.

Oh they grow so fast- and even though they are grown- when I walk in with six, people still turn and stare! It is truly a great witnessing opportunity.
Angie

busymomof10 said...

Oh, I can relate to the making a scene scenario! With ten children, I have been doing that for a number of years! Also, my husband is 6'10" tall, and my older sons are all well over 6' tall, so lots of heads turn when we all walk into a restaurant or something!

We have received lots of comments over the years, some nice and encouraging, and some offensive! But, I always try to remember that having an unusually large family gives you a platform from which to speak about your faith in God and your belief that every child is a BLESSING and GIFT from the Lord, not a BURDEN! It seems you have already embraced this opportunity wtih joy!

I dropped by to tell you that I finally posted my whole wheat bread recipe on my blog. Enjoyed my visit here though! YOu have a great blog!

blessings,
Elizabeth

Mary Tometich said...

Hi Angela, I've enjoyed reading your blogs. Before I share my thoughts I wanted to let you know who I was first. My oldest sister is Melissa (shouldn't say more due to certain reasons). Now we got our bases covered I can now express my thoughts. =)

I'm not a mom yet, but I have a lot of experience with children. I'm working in a store now and it is amazing what kind of parenting I see walk in. I couldn't help but think how wonderful it would be if more mom's had the same reasonings and thoughts as you. Your post is inspiring and teachable. It gives all women/mom's a better outlook to what their role is as a parent. It helps encourage them how to use everyday life as a way to glorify God and give praise to Him.
It's also a nice reminder to have as a woman preparing for that time in her life (like me). Where one day I will be responsible for parenting little ones, and need something to look back on. It makes a huge impact for those around you of how obedient your children are. It's amazing how much this culture looks "down upon" young children. I think we've forgotten true discipline and obedience in parenting. I hope this next generation can change that.
thanks for being such a blessing to your spouse, children, and those around you.
God bless!
~mary~
marytometich.blogspot.com

Angela said...

Stefanie,

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your comment.

I guess the first thing I would say is that my kids—-like all kids—-are not obedient by nature. :-) The reason they are obedient in public is because they are made to be obedient at home. We expect unconditional obedience—-no negotiating and no trickery. When they don’t obey they are reproved and spanked. (If we are in public, we go to a restroom to do this.) It’s really important to be consistent, because if you let a little disobedience slide every now and then, they’ll push you as far as they can push you every time. And if you don’t follow through when you’re in a public place, they’ll quickly figure that out and will take advantage of it.

Here are some encouraging Bible verses:

“Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death.” (Proverbs 19:18)

“He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” (Proverbs 13:24)

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)

“Do not hold back discipline from the child. Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. You shall strike him with the rod and rescue his soul from Sheol.” (Proverbs 23:13-14)

“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.” (Proverbs 29:15)

“Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; he will also delight your soul.” (Proverbs 29:17)

There is a good, Bible-based book that I would recommend—-To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. You can buy it here: http://shop.nogreaterjoy.org/product_info.php/products_id/69.

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