Monday, April 21, 2014

40-day Focus on the Family Finale: What I had to nail to the cross

Well we made it through the 40-days of the Lenten season and 40-days to focus on my family.  The 1st day, I mentioned how God had impressed upon my heart to not “give up” anything for lent, but rather to “pour into” doing this season.  It was during this time that I poured into my family: my husband, the boys and yes, even the dog. Throughout this entire 40-day journey God has shown me some things about myself through my mishaps and joys.

Parenting and being tied to a family is nothing that should be taken for granted.  Just because you are physically able to bear children doesn’t necessarily qualify you to have what it takes to raise them.  I know the parenting journey can be trying at times, but if you’re intentional about it…you will reap the rewards of your diligence.  This is also true if you’re in a loving, committed relationship. You have to be deliberate about your actions and be careful how you choose your words.

I can hear you asking,” Okay that’s nice Sharri, but what did you learn throughout the process? 
Thank you for asking!

We, as Christians, just celebrated Resurrection Sunday (Easter), which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Good Friday was the day that He sacrificed his life and was nailed to a rugged cross so that we might experience God’s salvation and everlasting joy.  In the out-pouring of myself on my family, God has been pouring into me. I am going to share a few lessons that I’ve learned throughout this 40–day family focus journey and what I had to nail to the cross. 

I nailed my pride to the cross.

I’ve written a few times of how I had to apologize to both my husband and my children during this period.  In times past, I would have fought to the death and justified why I did certain things just to prove that I was right.  But God showed me through that cup of tea and even in the name-calling incident that I am not always correct and really don't have to be. It’s alright to admit when I’m wrong, that I might not have all the answers and it’s even better when I confess my faults to my family.

My family’s trust in me is resurrected.

They can trust their feelings with me because my goal is not to override them, but to partner with them. (And you can partner with them, even in your discipline.  It’s about how you do it.)   Pride is dangerous, because after a while you gain a warped view of yourself.  Once your family loses faith and trust in you, it’s hard to get it back under control.  The best way to do it is to simply say, “I’m sorry” and allow your actions to display the sentiments of your heart.

Lesson #2:
Nail “taking yourself too seriously” to the cross and resurrect a fun-loving jovial spirit.

I have had so much fun with my kids by just being plain silly.  Whether I was flying paper airplanes or recording them as they enjoyed a bedtime dance-off, we simply laughed and played together.  Do you understand what laughter does for you mentally, spiritually and even physically?  It lowers blood pressure, lowers the stress hormones, exercises the stomach and back muscles, and improves creativity, alertness and mood.  I have noticed both of my boys laughing at and with me and I think it allows them to see that life can be joyful.  Perhaps when Mommy tripped up the stairs and started laughing at herself…they will remember that when they are in a situation that might cause them to be embarrassed.  My hope is that instead of them going into a state of depression, when they are faced with an embarrassing situation, they would learn to laugh it off and keep it moving.  That rings true for my husband, as well.  I used to be so sensitive if he talked about something that I had on or criticized the way that I would do things.  But now, I can laugh it off and oftentimes crack a joke right back, which can end with a little kiss, giggle or a pinch.

Lesson #3:
Nail impatience to the cross and resurrect longsuffering and compassion.

I didn’t initially understand why I was calling this a 40-day journey, but now I totally get it.  The word journey can be described as a period of travel from one place to another with stops along the way.  Or it can be defined as a progression from one stage to another.  Focusing on your family is just that…a journey.  It took me 40 days to learn just 3 of these lessons.  As the boys continue to grow through various ages and stages, the journey will become more interesting, creating more opportunities to learn through the life lessons.

The joy of it is that I am now aware of some things and I know to be more deliberate in how I exist with my family.  It’s about being transparent, admitting that I have flaws and then “resetting” until I find the right frequency for the moment.  Today I may have it figured out; then tomorrow might hit me with something that knocks me off of my feet.  I must recognize that every situation that I’m faced with is an opportunity to show my family how I deal with life, with God’s help, and empower them to handle their struggles as they are challenged.

Final lesson:
I live with some of the coolest dudes around: my husband, our 2 sons and the dog.  I am blessed to have them on my journey and I count it a privilege to be a part of theirs.

Now go home, love on your own family and walk it out……….


  1. I spent the whole Easter weekend with my daughter. I was on Kamryn time all weekend. The toddler years have been a challenge, but I have come to learn she is just trying to figure this big world out. Sunday night at her request we laid down together because she was tired. In that time of silence I realized I had the best weekend. I laughed more then I have in a long time. Thank you for helping me learn to enjoy my child.