Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Traffic Jam Truths

I am not sure how you guys handle traffic jams but admittedly I don’t always fare so well.

My kid’s school is an easy 10 minutes drive but with rush hour traffic in the mornings it can take up to 45 minutes by which time the easy drive turns tumultuous.

Fortunately the morning person of the family (Rich) fights the traffic everyday to get the kids to school on time; meanwhile I saunter out of bed and watch Bobie (Barney) with Tori while drinking a good cup of java.

The past three weeks while Rich was away my saunter turned to reckless haste trying to get the kid’s up, fed, dressed and in the car with all their appropriate school belongings, by 6:45 a.m.

I decided my dread would only make my kid’s mornings miserable so I needed to make the best of it. My ‘best of it’ attempts included blaring my music, serenading my captured audience, playing tic-tac-toe…hey if I can put my make-up on while driving TTT is a breeze, and various other multi-task activities while driving 10 miles per hour. After two days of the kid’s pleas for me to stop singing (they just don’t appreciate good talent) I found a book on CD someone recently gave me that I was interested in listening to. Although very good material and I say this in the most humble manner it was a lot of ‘elementary teaching’. Not that I have arrived or don’t need this info…it is great stuff it just made me evaluate if 4 more CD’s of this was the best investment of time.

Much to my children’s dismay my singing debut resumed when Skyler finally asked “Mom, are there any more of those messages we heard the other day?” I shared that we only listened to 1 of the 5 CD series. She asked, “Can we listen to the other ones?” With a quizzical look, I drilled her on what she heard and she repeated the different concepts and even some of the stories featured on CD #1….I did not even think she was listening. So our listening resumed.

Today, we completed CD #5 and I now realize it was a fabulous investment of not only my time but my children's! I found myself shouting ‘amen’, ‘that’s it’ and ‘so good’ throughout our listening journey. Best of all Skyler sponged up every word! One morning Blake’s antics were drowning out the author's voice when Skyler reprimanded him with “Blake would you please be quiet I am trying to listen and you should be too; this is good stuff.” The thought of her “getting” these foundational truths and life principles at age 7 is a very happy one!

A couple years ago I happened upon the scripture… “My children are taught of the Lord and great is their peace and undisturbed composure” and I’ve prayed it over them ever since. Today, I thought about the things that teach my children of the Lord. It isn’t just what I share with them during our devotional times or what I model to them throughout the day (which frankly keeps me awake at night agonizing over my poor example). What are they hearing that I am listening to? What are they seeing that I am watching? Who is affecting them that I am hanging around? Are these things/my choices giving them an accurate picture of who He is? Do they produce peace and an undisturbed composure? Some rhetorical questions I felt healthy to ponder! When I flippantly put that first CD in the player I never imagined the effect it might have on the two little ones sitting in the backseat.

My intent is not to be preachy or sound super spiritual as fact is I am a far cry from either. Just sharing some random thoughts of truth revealed while sitting in traffic!


Lisa H said...

Wow, this is a good one, and it's something I've been thinking on a lot lately. Not that specific verse, but how the things/people/music/whatever of our lives directly affects my kids. I do really like the verse though! I'm looking that one up as soon as I get done here! Thanks for sharing your traffic jam musings!

Is your husband home yet? :)

Heidi Jo said...

Love this post Michelle! It's a question that a SAHM can't help but ponder and often feel much guilt about.

I have always listened to Christian music but lately it has completely captivated my heart. In the past I would turn on my radio in the car and listen to a variety of music (probably mainly Country).

Then I started really 'listening' to the words and I thought about what it would sound like to hear my children repeating it.

I finally came to a place where I don't change my station off of our FABULOUS Christian station. I am never worried that they will hear something they shouldn't.

Debbie said...

I have been thinking about this recently as well. They are sponges and their hearts seem soft to God and spiritual things right now.

Thanks for the post, Michelle. My mom used to pray that Scripture for me and my siblings. In fact, when we'd be acting up, she'd quote it to us. Hilarious!

My mom always said she was a bad mother, but I don't agree. Well, she really wasn't a bad mom, but the best thing she did for us kids was pray for us a ton.

Being a good example is really important, I agree. And having that goal, along with being a praying mom, is a good combination; because, when we mess up, the prayer part makes up for it! :)

rae said...

I love that scripture! I can see that the way my parents raised me and my siblings really did produce that fruit in some very difficult times. Great post!

Sohailah said...

"This is good stuff!" I LOVE it! so adorable - how i wish I were getting to know the children of the friend I love so dearly. They seem absolutely precious!

Just Mom said...

It's funny how these truths are revealed to us when we least expect it. I didn't mean to sound too deeply spiritual there either; I'm just pointing out what I've noticed.

Great post, Michelle.

Anonymous said...

Ok my friend, cough up the name of the CD's. If it kept Sky captive maybe it would do the same for mine?!?! Especially if I told them how much she enjoyed it! Squeeze those kiddos for me.

Michelle Franzen said...

Rich will be home tomorrow!! SOO ready.

After my statement about the CD's being very foundational I feel bad revealing. However I quite enjoy his stuff as I know many of you will agree he is a great speaker!

It is 'Living your Best Life Now' Joel Osteen's book on CD. I actually thought of hanging onto it and listening to it with the kids again when they are a bit older.

Anonymous said...

You don't need to multi-task while driving - that's a no no and (your mother said so).
We pray that scripture for all our grandkids on a regular basis too -how great is that?!
You're doing a good job - just keep it up.

Adrienne said...

Thanks for sharing your traffic jam wisdom for the day. It's encouraging and challenging at the same time. I fall short everyday as a wife, parent, and friend, that is just the reality, but living day to day, as Christ commanded, gives me hope that there is grace in parenting, and in any relationship, and where I fall short, He shines through with His own example. I love that verse and will add it to my prayers over Em.

Thank you for always being a godly example to me, today from half way around the world and many moons ago at TM. I appreciate you!
Say hi to Rich and the kids for us!

Shanygne said...

Where is that verse found? LOVE IT!
This is so wonderful, Michelle... that Skyler is so amazing. Love her.

trying to create that atmosphere is so important, and like you, I tend to lose sleep over my example some nights... all in all, I guess if we are wondering, maybe we aren't doing such a poor job??

Lori B said...

Thanks for sharing. That was a great post. It is true that I need to be reminded about the things I'm listening to that my kids hear also.

I'm so glad I live right across from the school my son goes to. It is so handy. He just walks to and from school. I remember the hassels of having to hurry hurry in the morning to get to school on time. We still have to hurry now, but not near as much.

Anonymous said...

You are such a precious and real treasure! I cannot tell you how many times I've wondered over the years what habits my three would pick up from me that I would regret...ahhh! Praise the Lord Jesus that they have seen and heard some good somewhere along the way and by the grace of God I can say how proud I am of them today. Keep up the good fight to raise those gifts set before you! We both know we will be pressed down and attacked on all sides, but greater is He who is in us!
I have to say I quit listening to all music that was not Christian many year ago. I know I might be radical and weird to some, but I can honestly say "garbage in, garbage out" to my kids. Jenna listens to a variety of stuff, but she can't ever point her finger at me. I don't get critical at her about her choices, but I try real hard to be a godly example.
Oops, sorry, once again I kinda got to preachin' :)

i am turtle said...

boy, i hate getting stuck in traffic too, especially when everyone is just crawling along like a bunch of turt... oh.

never mind.