By reading labels, I can prevent him from ingesting additives that aren't good for his brain. I pick up an item, read the label, see something that's on our forbidden list and say, "No, can't have this." Focusing on the negative. I find it effortless -- some days, to speak negative. Why is that? I hate it. I can easily relate to what the apostle Paul write about in Romans 7:
"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it."
This is also where I need to talk the talk and not just walk the walk. Sure, I am loving and caring for my child by accommodating his needs and buying, cooking and feeding him special food, but - what comes out of my mouth oftentimes speaks louder than my actions. "Don't just leave all this stuff out!" "Nicolas - what did you do?" "Put these things away now!" And other words of loveliness :
You always...do this or that...
It can be very discouraging for both Nick to hear and for me, to hear myself say -- especially if I just spent the last 3 days cleaning up a mess from the last play time, search for a lost toy, etc. Discouraged or not, my kids hear what I say and see what I do.
It's not just toys and messiness. It's his forgetfulness and his poor little boy brain... Or losing his shoes, hat, coat, mittens, etc. It's standing up and eating, which is so incredibly messy. (We work on manners each and every day. Every day... Every single day.) Reminding him to do simple things that are a part of our routine - but, none the less, I have to remind him multiple times a day, each and every day. I am literally a copy of the day before. I know, all this could sound like a lot of kids; but - it's my kid. And I love him, but - he's not the same kid anymore.
So, I get tired and frustrated. I work from home and wouldn't you think that I could find a few hours a day just to get a little work done? Sometimes I do. Most times I stay up late, after everyone is in bed, and work into the morning, if necessary. This then makes me grumpy and tired. And the day begins regardless of how much or how little sleep I've had, and it all happens all over gain, except that there are a few twists here and there. Dogs, kids, meals, dishes, laundry - normal stuff gets thrown in and then... oh yes, we have home school in there.
Homeschooling is incredible and I am thankful each and every day that we can do it. Saying something positive about homeschooling in front of my kids can bring them life. I see it happen - they blossom.
In sharing all of this, I am also admitting that I am but a mere mortal mom who gets tired without a cup of coffee in her hands. I also admit that without some help, I would never be able to do this. My help comes from another dimension. From another realm... from God. He is the only One who can renew me, when coffee and chocolate don't do the trick.
To get renewed, I do several things as much as I possibly can. I spend time with God, meditating on His Word by reading the Bible. I also participate in times of singing to Him, as in corporate worship and in several prayer groups. Praying for others is something I feel the need to do, much like how Nicolas has the need to build. By focusing on The Creator, it gets my eyes off myself, my situations, struggles and problems and gets them (my eyes, thoughts) to think "outside my box" and get a bigger picture of life and for others. Yes others. Other people also have "stuff and junk" going on in their lives. I make it a priority to pray for other people and their situations too. I know that if someone tells me that they've been praying for me, I am never burdened or overwhelmed by prayer.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.