"Obey right away, all the way and with a good attitude everyday!"
This is a quote we learned from Jackson's school last year, Ozark Christian Academy. He was in kindergarten there. I'm not sure where they got it from, but it works like a charm!
Here around the house, we've shortened it to, "Obey right away". We also use "one and done" alot. This means that I give you a direction ONE time (as opposed to 2 or 5 or 10) and then I'm done. If you don't obey right away, consequences follow.
We've been doing this with the kids consistently for quite a while now, and it really does work. Of course, consistency is the key, so when we slack off so do they. However, it only takes reminding them most times now. I'm really proud of the boys. They are all great kids with good hearts. They aren't perfect, and we all have our "off" days and meltdowns, but all in all I'm very happy with their attitudes and behavior.
When we do have trouble, I try to remind them WHY obeying right away is important. We've identified these things:
- It keeps you safe. Sometimes I give you directions when you are in danger. Obeying right away keeps you from being hurt or killed.
- Moms and Dads know what's best for you. We're your parents and we know the "bigger picture". As a child, you aren't able to see that, so I have to take that responsibility for you. You need to trust in my love for you that what I say is best. Even if you aren't in physical danger, obeying right away means you are following the path that is best for your life.
- You need to learn to respect and submit to authority in your life. If you won't respect and submit to your parents, you will have a hard time doing that with other adults in authority.
- You need to learn to obey God right away. Again, if you won't obey your parents when you can hear our voices, how will you obey God when all you "hear" is by reading His Word, the Bible? How will you obey the Holy Spirit whispering to your heart if you won't obey your mom speaking clearly right in front of you? Chances are, you won't.
I've been wondering the last few days whether or not I obey right away. When I feel God speaking do I obey His call right away? Without saying, "But, I have another idea...." or "Well, I'm not ready yet. Hang on." or "I don't think I can do that, you can probably find someone else." or "I would really like to be able to do that, but I'm sure 'so and so' wouldn't like that." I have a hundred excuses. I imagine most of us do.
When I ask the boys something, I want them to obey. No questions. No talking back. No "wait a minute". I want them to obey God like that, too. The problem is they won't be able to do that unless they see me doing it.
I expect God feels the same way I do as a parent when He gives me directions that I don't follow. I can hear Him saying things like, "Jodi, don't you know that I know what's best for you?" or "Jodi, I love you more than life itself. Please just trust that and know that I would never ask you to do something you couldn't accomplish or that would be harmful to you or anyone else." or "Jodi, You can't see the big picture, but I see it all. Please do what I'm asking, because I have a plan and I need you to do your part.", "Jodi, just hush and trust me. Obey right away."
My Three Sons,
I love you more than life itself and I want you to know that God loves you even more than your mommy does.
Even though I know God loves us all, sometimes I have not done a great job at obeying Him right away. Because I haven't always obeyed right away, I've sometimes had consequences that I've had to deal with. Those are never good. It's always easier to just obey, without asking questions or hesitating.
I want to be a good example for all three of you, so I am promising you today, that I am going to start obeying God right away. He always knows what's best for us and we need to learn to trust Him when He asks us to do something. Even if we think it is hard or for some reason it doesn't make sense to us. God knows and sees everything, everywhere. He has a plan for each of us and we need to listen and follow that plan.
So, I am promising you today that I am going to be better about following God's specific directions for our lives right away. I am going to trust more and have more faith in Him that He will provide and protect us when He calls us to do something. This may mean that our family will be doing things that others sometimes don't understand or that may seem hard.
But, I know that God will always take care of ALL of our needs. He will provide for us and protect us EVERY DAY, as long as we are obeying right away.
I love you all more than you can imagine. Being your mommy is the greatest part of my life. You are such a blessing to your daddy and me. God created each of you very special and very differently. He has a special plan for each of you that will be different from anybody else on Earth. My prayer for your lives is that you will learn to hear the Holy Spirit speak to you and that you will obey right away, no matter what. I know you will all make mistakes, but I also know you will do wonderful things for Jesus.
I Love You SO Much!