Parents all over the world are experiencing “aha” moments of grace when things begin to change. Change in their hearts, their parenting motivation, their long-term parenting goals, and the way they see their kids. And, ultimately, their relationship with Christ.
Each week, we are excited to introduce you to parents who are able to finish the sentence, “Things began to change when….” These stories of transformation are made possible because of the ongoing generosity of our Donor Team. This week, meet the Jones Family from Colorado.
I (Danyelle) came to know the Lord as an adult just before meeting my husband. I entered our marriage with a lot of personal work to do and was actively pursuing goals in the areas of growth and healing so I could embrace my God-given identity in Christ. My husband and I were new to cultivating a Christ-centered home and having a family vision that would honor the Lord and serve as an example for our kids and community.
Before Connected Families, we’d oscillate from delightfully connective moments to what often felt like out-of-control meltdowns. We began to feel overwhelmed as we went hard after the ideals we’d envisioned and yet daily fell short. It was as though we had increasingly less time for what we desired for our family because we were reactively responding to big emotions and spending hours each day trying to get back to baseline.
Things began to change when I let God step between me and our children. When I internalized the truth that God knows my heart to raise them well and will go before me to prepare good works while child-rearing, I began to feel the freedom to be primarily attentive to their hearts – not the undesired behavior we were often seeing. I am now better able to show my kids God’s rightful place of leadership in all our lives… and that’s how lasting change really takes root.
But first, CONNECT….
Our six-year-old daughter was extremely worked up because she didn’t want to go to school since she felt intentionally excluded at recess. I took five breaths and accepted that she needed my time more than what we had scheduled. I gently listened and asked if she wanted to hear a story about when I was left out as a kid. She accepted. Then I felt her body relax and saw her focus shift as she asked questions, desiring to know more.
Her questions provided opportunities to talk about the mysterious ways God works. It ended up being an amazing point of connection, and she went without further fuss, even returning at the end of the day smiling. She chose to practice contentment and I could visibly see peace and understanding beginning to soften her perspective.