Triggers -- A Book by Wendy Speake and Amber Lia

  I have mentioned in prior posts that in the past I have dealt with anger, especially when it comes to parenting.  I think it is because I have never taken time to research.  I think that the "Fly By the Seat of Your Pants" parenting technique is not good -- not at all!
  This book, Triggers:  Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions For Gentle Biblical Responses, is going to be a huge help for me, and I hope you, too.  I encourage you to buy the book and the workbook  I am not being paid at all for recommending this study but just think you will get more from having it.  The chapters are nice and short - easy to read.

  Anyway, I am going to get started with some areas that spoke to me. From the forward that is on pages 10 - 13 by Brooke McGlothlin, she writes "Getting out from under the anger when things didn't go the way I wanted them to was an act of God...actually, it's an ongoing act of God in my life, even today." (11)  This book, Triggers, "is not just for moms of little ones.  It's for all moms who are ready for a change, ready to replace angry reactions with gentle biblical responses that have the power to work miracles in the hearts of their children." (12)
  In reading this section, I see that it is a problem that we need to have God's help with.  It isn't something we can do all on our own -- we need His divine intervention!  We need His strength when we are weak!  It also shows me that this area can be applied to not just the early years when we are so exhausted and overwhelmed.  It spreads over into all the years of parenting.  As I have only had children up to 15, I don't have the experience of young adult children. But I think that even in those years, we can use tools in dealing with our own anger and helping our young adult children manage theirs.
  In section one titled "External Triggers  When it has everything to do with them," several statements stood out to me.  The triggers that they mention in this first section talk about "the most common things our children do in their childishness that drive crazy and make us angry." They mention "talking back and ignoring our instructions to angry fits and whining meltdowns." (19)  Another statement that they make is that "parenting is anything but easy."  They share that they can tell us methods and approaches "But what might be missing personally in our quest for obedient kids?"  I don't know about you, but that just hit me square in the face!  Read on -- "We may very well miss an opportunity to become more like Christ ourselves."  Can these ladies be hitting the nail on the head???  I am totally not saying that it is all of our faults and the children have no blame.  The book goes on to point out some verses that I love, 
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." 
Ephesians 6:1
"Honor your father and mother, that you may live a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving you."  Exodus 20:12  

"Children, obey your parents in everything, for this 
pleases the Lord."  Colossians 3:20

In order to keep this brief, I am going to just share the remaining statements that spoke to me:

"God wants us to obey because obedience gives birth to blessings." (21)

"He is the God of 70 times 7 chances.
He doesn't whack us upside the head continually or deal harshly with us from the get-go.
No more condemnation.
God is not cookie cutter, yet His character is consistent.
...I see far more evidence throughout both the Old and New Testaments that support an overarching attitude and character of patience, mercy, kindness, and grace extended towards us from a Holy God who loves us and gave Himself for us.
Even while we were yet sinners.
Even when we were enemies.
Even when we reviled Him as He died on the cross for our sins.
I'm so thankful God didn't treat me as my sins deserved - I missed out on blessings by my disobedience, for sure.  But God, in His grace, drew me in with His loving-kindness over and over and over again.
Proverbs 10:12 reminds us, "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses."
As mothers, we often forget that our kids are immature.  Yes, they will also be outrightly defiant at times; but I find that often, we are dealing with our own unreasonable expectations for obedience.  These expectations lead to biting and cutting punishment, instead of training our children in the way they should go by pointing them to Christ.  We are tough on our kids because we can be - because we are the authority.
Iron fists chisel stony hearts, but graceful hands shape responsive hearts.  (23)

Let's tweak our parenting perspectives a bit.  View ourselves more like coaches.  A coach is an authority figure, too.  A coach is part of a team....if we coach our kids through life, we become their cheerleaders too, offering them hope and confidence to become more like Christ. (24)

Let's embrace what it means to be a Mom as Coach, patiently and lovingly training our kids toward the blessings of obedience. (25)

  I don't know about you, but I want to have a peaceful, happy parenting experience.  When I am yelling my head off and acting out myself, that is definitely not peace.  In fact I fuel the chaos when I indulge in that behavior.  It is like I am a child myself - fussing and fighting with my own children.
  I am so thankful the Lord put these ladies in my life for such a time as this.  I agree with them -- parenting is not easy, but I think with the help of the Lord, support from friends, God's Holy Word, and the teachings from these ladies, I think it can be easier.

Let me pray for us -

Lord Jesus, we thank You for Your sacrifice that You gave for us.  We thank You for these children that You have indeed given to us to train. Please forgive us for failing in this parenting.  Please forgive us for words and actions that did not reflect You.  Please give us grace and mercy for our own children as You give it to us on a daily basis - sometimes on a minute by minute basis.  You are a good God and blessed Heavenly Father.  We ask that You bless the ladies that wrote this book.  Help us to use it wisely and help us to be the parents that lead our children in grace!  We are thanking you in advance for all that You are going to do in our lives and our children's lives.

In Jesus' name I pray,

As I always do, I like to end with a song.  Let's remember we are not perfect, and "He Didn't Throw the Clay Away." 

Blessings, {{Hugs}}, and Love!

All the references I have made with page numbers are from the book, Triggers, by Wendy Speake and Amber Lia.  The words in quotations are from them, and I take no credit for it.


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