2nd Mile Parenting…

I recently had the privilege of getting to hear Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-a, speak at a conference my husband & I recently were at. Dan says that their business model is based from Matthew 5:41 “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.”  He thought to himself, what is the expected? What is everyone else in the food service industry already doing? Now, I want to dream of what the ‘2nd Mile’ could look like and that is what I want our service to be like. Have you ever been to a Chick-fil-a restaurant before?  My husband and I recently had the opportunity to visit one in Texas and it was quiet a joyful experience!  The staff was warm & friendly, the restaurant (and bathrooms!) were very neat and clean and after one of the cashiers handed me my cup for a drink, I replied with a “thank you” and they replied with a friendly “my pleasure”.  Apparently this is one of the pre-planned responses for anytime someone says “thank you” to one of them.  I love that part of their culture is these pre-planned friendly phrases.  For Dan, 2nd Mile thinking sounds like this “People are more hungry for respect and love than a good chicken burger”. (So good, so true!!) How can we instill value, dignity & respect into our employees and our every customer? Another thing I loved about Dan’s talk was that he wears a “DAN, IN TRAINING” name badge.  He noticed that his employees in training were wearing these name badges and he thought, That’s a great idea! I need one of those! Just in case there’s ever a mistake or a mis-understanding, he could humbly apologize and say that he is still “in-training”.

Umm I think I need a name badge that say’s MOM, IN TRAINING !!  I mean, do we ever fully arrive?! In the past 8yrs of being a Mom I’m pretty sure I have needed to ask for forgiveness every single day! When I am operating at my best, we all know it’s only because of Jesus’ grace working thru me!

As I was sitting their listening to Dan speak, my mind began to think, I wonder what ‘2nd Mile Parenting’ could look like?  What could we dream up for our “2nd mile” in parenting? To me, ‘2nd Mile Parenting’ represents out of the ordinary, beautiful, heaven on earth, life-giving, intentional, training, investing, full of love, joy, grace & peace – basically, it’s co-parenting with God. Allowing Him to empower us with his super-natural ability.  Allowing our thoughts to line up with Philippians 4:8-9 “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heart and saw and realized.  Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (MSG) Allowing our talking to line up with Ephesians 5:3 “…Thanksgiving is our dialect”. (MSG)  Allowing the word of God to define us.

I love this scripture in Romans 4:20-21 in the Passion Translation that says (speaking of Abraham) “He never stopped believing God’s promise, for he was made strong in his faith to father a child.  And because he was mighty in faith and convinced that God had all the power needed to fulfill his promises, Abraham glorified God!”

Replace Abraham’s name with your name. “(She) never stopped believing God’s promise, for (she) was made strong in (her) faith to (mother) a child (her children).  And because (she) was mighty in faith and convinced that God had all the power needed to fulfill his promises, ___________ glorified God!”

We can do this, dear ones! Because with God as our helper, we can do ALL things through Jesus who strengthens us.  Nothing is impossible with God. He powerfully declares us righteous in his eyes (Romans 4:5 TPT). He declares us flawless in his eyes. Our faith guarantees permanent access into his marvelous kindness (which we need as moms!) and we have been given incredible joy that bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope in experiencing God’s glory!  But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble (or those tough days, moms!) we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures (hello!) will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. (!!!) And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us! (!!!!!!) (ISN’T THIS THE BEST NEWS EVER?!?!!!) (Romans 5:1-5 TPT)

Just in case you didn’t get your bible reading in today, there you go! Side note: reading the word always lifts my faith, energy, and re-sets my perspective that I can actually do this thing called parenting THRU Him!!! Don’t you love the above scripture that says this hope IS NOT a disappointing fantasy!!

2nd Mile Parenting; living in total pursuit of the one and only, Jesus. There’s so much MORE, friends. He has so much more  of himself for us to experience of Him.  He is not a God of just a little, or just enough, or a few time experiences. NO. He is an outrageously generous God with endless love for us to experience all the time! He wants to fill us and empower us every single moment of every single day. He wants all of himself to overflow in us and spill over onto our children. He wants his presence to fill us, our kids and every nook & cranny of our homes. He wants his presence to spill out of our homes & overflow into our neighborhoods, grocery stores, schools or wherever we go. He wants us to be like Abraham, Abraham glorified God by grabbing ahold of His promises by faith!

We are not alone in this. Not only are WE together in this, but most importantly, HE is with you ALWAYS. He is available to help you on a second’s notice. Lean on Him. He is your helper. He will guide you every step of the way. We can do this “2nd Mile Parenting” because He is walking with us and enabling us. Every time we breakthrough and walk in victory in different areas of our lives, we are setting our kids up to win. Sure they will have their own battles, but when we breakthrough, we’ve broken-thru for them too. We are moms and we don’t give up. We keep showing up and we keep believing and we will see our breakthrough and we will walk in victory, for us and for them (and the generations to come).

Xoxo

Angie

Empowering our kids…

If you were to crack open my heart for a little bit here, you would find that my heart longs for, on a daily basis to start a business, to be an entrepreneur and to encourage and empower other women. I can’t help it, I think about it All. The. Time.

I recently was listening to a leadership podcast by Michael Hyatt and they were talking about the importance of empowering the team around you.

They said things like “How are you motivating and empowering your team?”

“When you empower your team, then their gifts and talents can flourish.”

“We double, triple, even quadruple our time when we learn how to empower our teams.”

“We deprive our team from using their gifts when we do the work they could be doing.”

And this final quote that I loved “Don’t do anything that others could or would do when theirs so much of importance to be done that others could not or would not do”.

I began thinking about my team and do you know who my team is in this season of my life? It’s my 4 darling little girls. Ages 7, 5, 4 & 2. They are my dream team. And I want to empower them in every possible way that I can.

It was just 2 months ago when we moved into our new home and I was beginning to quickly realize that I simply cannot keep all the balls in the air when it comes to keeping our home in order. I am 1 person and there are 6 people in our home and I cannot stay on-top of everything and have a healthy soul at the same time! My husband kept nudging me to “teach the girls to do some of these things so you don’t have too” and I gotta confess, I didn’t really have faith in them that they could do many of the things I was doing or at least not in a reasonable time-frame. I kept defaulting to cleaning up after every meal, cleaning up every evening, doing all the laundry and putting it away, even tidying up their rooms, etc, etc.

My husband began to see how tiring all this was on me so one wknd he took charge and put the kids on dishwashing duty and he did not allow me to step in. He gave our 4 year old a wet rag and showed her how to dust baseboards. He showed our oldest how to push a vacuum cleaner. And you guys… I WAS SURPRISED IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY!!! They really could do things. And they actually can do them pretty well. It’s been about a month now since we began empowering them in these different chores around our home and they continue to get better and faster as time has gone on.

One girl washes the dishes, another loads the dishwasher and drys and puts away.

Another girl wipes down all the kitchen countertops and the table.

Someone sweeps the floors.

One preps the children’s vitamins the night before.

Another sets the table for tomorrow’s breakfast with the bowls/plates, silverware, napkins and water cups. (With their vitamins on their plate that’s in a cute little dish).

They go throughout the living room/kitchen and pick up their things and put them away.

They clean-up their rooms.

They clean their own bathrooms.

They fold and put their laundry away.

On rotation they each have “their day” where they get to be the one helping with cooking the meals. On their day they also get to pick where they get to sit at the table, say the prayer before the meal and (once we get our TV hooked back up again) pick out the “show” if they get an opportunity to watch a show that day.

They help unload the groceries.

They dust.

They organize their toys.

They make their own beds.

They get their own jammies on, (they help their little 2yr old sister get her jammies on – and can even change a wet diaper (they hold the line on not changing a poopie!), they go potty and brush their teeth on their own.

As I have stuck with this and as I continue to empower my kids in helping out with these beautiful tasks to everyday life skills – I am seeing that I then have more time for working on our budget, doing some of the deeper cleaning, more time for meal prepping as they are cleaning up the kitchen, more time to work on things in my heart such as writing these blogs and doing things that only I can do. They are growing leaps and bounds and learning great work-ethics and their confidence has also grown so much. They are owning their responsibilities and I couldn’t be more proud. As they have grown more comfortable with these routine tasks I have noticed them being more self-starters on their own accord. We homeschool and sometimes it’s so neat when I walk into the living room and I see that one or two of my girls has already finished their math & writing work for the day! (It doesn’t always happen that way! But it has a few times and it’s been happening since they’ve owned more responsibilities). I will say, we are nowhere perfect in all of this and we do our best to be consistent but sometimes things come up. And that’s ok.  We pick up where we left off and begin again. We do our best with what we have and their are still times where I may lend a helping hand in cleaning a room or with laundry or the dishes. I’m working on this! But we have come so far in the short amount of time we began implementing these things and I’m grateful for their contribution and hard work.

I am doing my best as a parent to be much more open to allowing them to help when they ask for it. I think out of feeling overwhelmed and that I like things just-so I got into a bad habit of saying “No thank you, I got this”. But I realized this is not good for me or them. And just as if I did have a staff around me, whom I would want to empower – so I realize I have these 4 precious daughters whom I want to empower and equip in every possible way and who are far more valuable than any future staff. They are my ministry. My daily ministry. And they are worth it all.

How have you motivated & empowered your kids? Do you have any words of encouragement or great tips/advice on this? Or maybe you are like how I recently had always been and this is maybe something you want to incorporate. Do you have any questions? I sure would love to hear your thoughts below.

Thanks so much! Love you friends!! We got this!!

All my love,

Angie