Friday, March 13, 2015

Building the Love Turf

Picking at Weeds Update

(This is my weekly report from my blog post 
I'm trying to improve my skills as a human being and especially as a mother.
I'm trying to pick at weeds less and trying to build the love turf more. :-) )

I had good days and bad days this week as I tried to pick at my kids less and build their turf of love instead. (I'm a work in progress.)

This week, I made a strong effort to teach by congratulating my children's efforts first. Then instead of picking at what they did wrong or how they failed in that effort, I just retaught the principle for how to do it right. I applied that principle with lots of chores around the house. 

As I did this, I noticed something:  A lot of the things that I would have criticized them for are things that I generally make mistakes with even as an adult! This experiment made me turn inward which in turn made me more patient with my children… and others around me. 

A couple of times, I saw a big problem in the home, and I began to pick. However, I stopped in mid-sentence and started over. My kids noticed what I was trying to do and gave me a big grin when my words came out quite a bit happier and with a more positive spin. They knew I was trying hard, and they appreciated my efforts. 

It felt good to turn my words around because my children didn't feel picked at. Rather, they felt appreciated for what they had done and more eager to do more things right. Now I want to clarify, this does not mean that I can't be firm about rules. I am still firm about what needs to be done in our home. It just means there is a brighter way to do things. 

Every morning we have family scripture study, and every night we have family devotional where we talk about the ways that God has blessed us throughout the day. There are beautiful things about each day; but on the days I made a conscious effort to build their Love Turf, my children commented much more on how good they felt inside. Gosh, it is definitely worth the extra effort to finish the day feeling good in our hearts.

The Miracles

My children worked together more on the days I built their Love Turf

They played games together. They helped each other. They argued less. They even spontaneously created a play for Abe and me! It was hilarious! Abe and l laughed all the way through it! Their hearts were more free to be who God intended them to be.

God built MY Love Turf on the days that I felt as though I had failed.

There were a few days when complete exhaustion hit. Those were the days when EVERYONE seemed to spill everything, lose everything, break everything, and pick at each other… so I fell into the trap and picked right along with them instead of rising above it all. It is definitely easier to just pick, but it is so much more rewarding to build everyone up. I guess it's easier to knock a building down than to build it, right? On those days, when I started to beat myself up, I felt God building MY Love Turf and teaching me how to be better… it was the LOVE OF GOD! 

That was the coolest testimony to me… was to recognize how God was teaching me to be better… it was through LOVE.

I was reading in my scriptures this morning and my heart was completely warmed as I read the book of 4 Nephi from The Book of Mormon. Verses 15 & 16 touched me the deepest:

 15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
 16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

It doesn't say there was peace because of the constant picking and criticizing of everyone. 

It was the LOVE OF GOD that created the happiest people! We definitely had some of our happiest days this week… After I played catch with Tyson at the beach, he gave me the warmest thank you I think I have ever heard… Jayden so sweetly asked me to come outside and play, "Pat-a-cake."I didn't even know he liked "Pat-a-cake!" It felt good to take that time to build their Love Turf.

I testify that every effort of building is worth it because as I build those in my home, I build their turf of love which spreads pure goodness to those around them.