Being busy with this book writing has been SUCH a blessing. First of all, the education I’m gaining from the studying is wonderful, but better than that, WHAT A MAGNIFIYING GLASS! Every “leak,” every area of weakness is being shown under the light of the pressure this places on our family. (Ok, ok, so it’s likely not EVERY area, but enough are being shown, that I’d really like to continue in my little delusion, if you don’t mind.)

The other day, I heard myself speaking a language that is not the native tongue of children….Parenteze. Perhaps you’re not familiar with this language? Oh, let me enlighten you as to how I employed it for such effective communication. 🙄

“Hoooonnnneeeey, AGAIN? You did it A.G.A.I.N.? I know you didn’t mean to Sweetheart, but we keep talking about this and you keep doing it….” You getting the picture? Right, critical speech issuing from my mouth. I guess I was trying to delude myself into thinking if I used “loving mommy words” like Honey or Sweetheart that it would make it all okay. (Puke) I keep thinking that I’ve been at this parenting thing long enough that I would/should understand, anytime I try to parent in a way that doesn’t mimic how Father parents me it’s going to stink. And I assure you – this did.

I continue to grow in my understanding of what it means to parent by grace and speaking in Parenteze is NOT a part of that formula. And OH HOW I wish it were a formula. Ahhhh – take one parent, add one child, say one specific prayer – shake, not stir and voila’ – parenting by grace performed. Because Father’s intent is to train ME as I train my children, it will never be so simple….but I can wish, can’t I?

Jeff and I had a mini-meeting the other morning (read: before the barking dog woke the sleeping baby….and no that isn’t our typing exercise for the week…sadly) where we were focusing on the goals we want to write down for 2007. With the addition of our entrepreneurial adventure/escapade, it has added a) a heightened sense of our need for written goals and b) a whole new category of goals to write out.

We promptly established a Clark family Vision Statement: “Our family was created, by the Most High God, to love and worship Him, to cultivate relationships and to take dominion, all for the glory and pleasure of our Lord.”  So, we were starting with our relationship goals. Here’s our first one: “To make our children much more aware of our encouragement than of our correction” (hat tip to CJ Mahaney)

While I was writing it, I was, of course thinking, “Ah ha ha ha, Lord, aren’t You clever ? You’re not fooling me. You’re socking me with a double whammy here. I have just agreed to do this with my dear blog buddies for Jeff and now You’re calling me to it on the kids too.” I think I heard Him laughing. Just thought you should know, so you aren’t surprised when I don’t have any pity/mercy on y’all while we’re working on our challenge. 😉 😀 OH and just in case you didn’t sign up yet, there’s plenty more room on the loop. (Likely after the above “threat” there will be even more room.) 😉

7 Responses to “Parenteze”
  1. javadawn says:

    🙂 Hey Patricia, is this where you thought I was going??? If not, what did you think I was going to discuss? (Maybe I *should* do your idea next.) 😆

  2. Violet says:

    I can really relate to what you are saying here, Dawn. Critical speech has been one of the biggest sins I’ve dealt with in my parenting – and most of the time not even bothering to “cover” it with “loving mommy words”. As you say, it stinks! The good thing about it all though, is what I have learned about my Father’s parenting techniques with me. Each time I see the effect of my words on my children, He reminds me of the effect of His words on me, and I am again humbled and thankful that I can point them to Him (not me) and ask them to pray for me to become more like Him.

    Now about this challenge for our husbands…! Yes, we definitely are speaking double whammy here!! I’ll pray for you, if you’ll pray for me.

  3. javadawn says:

    Violet, it is QUITE humbling, isn’t it? I find I’m frequently brought low by it. :/

    As for prayer – you may COUNT on it!! I knew I’d need others to walk this out with me, I’m just so grateful you’re along for the journey. (You always offer such Biblical encouragement.) Thank you, my dear

  4. winkies6 says:

    Oh, Honeeeey (drip drip), I’m not patronizing you. Reeeeaaallly. 😉 I totally get it. That’s just how it feels, tho, isn’t it? Does calling your son Buddy count? That’s my pet name for #3. Probably does. LOL
    I guess I’m guilty too. *sigh*

  5. ~ Patricia says:

    Well…I was thinking that you were talking about the husband encouragement challenge, but the principle certainly applies to our children as well. And since we are on the topic, I’ll have to tell on myself. As you know, I was rather ill the past couple of days…especially Christmas night and all day yesterday. I was totally out of it. I could barely speak…and if Louis dared to ask me anything at all, I only weakly murmured an answer. As I began to emerge from the worst of my misery last night, Louis actually jokingly stated that I had been nicer to him over the past 24 hours than I had been in a long time. YIKES!!! Somehow I am guessing there might have been a little bit of truth to his comment and I must have more work to do than I thought. *sigh*

  6. javadawn says:

    Oh Patricia, I know. I heard myself say something to Jeff the other day – I was busy and distracted – and I thought “(GASP!) Oh my lands! This challenge is going to be harder than I had anticipated.” (whine, whimper) Thank you for being transparent, it’s nice to know I’m not alone!! 🙂

  7. myderbe says:

    This makes me think of that Andy Griffith show in which Andy is giving marriage advice to some couple. I think he encourages them to pepper their speech with terms of endearment. So they are saying in these annoyed or irritated tones of voice, “Dear, will you PLEASE pass the pepper?” or through gritted teeth, “Darling, would you please pass the corn, Honey?”

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