Thursday, 27 June 2013

'Man of Steel' Parenting Tips...

This afternoon I took my son and a few of his friends to watch 'Man of Steel'. It is a fantastic film which made me laugh and cry, and I loved the action in it. But there were a couple of quotes I really loved that made me think of my parenting journey - strange I know but true  :)
Near the start of the movie Clark is starting to figure it his 'powers' and can't cope with it at all. He locks himself in a closet in school and won't talk to anyone, but when his mum arrives he tells her that 'The world's too big, Mom.' She tells him to focus in on her voice and hers alone. 

How many times do we think this? That nothing I can do will ever make a difference? Or that there is too much to do and how will you ever get it all done? And yet we are reminded -

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. 
Today’s trouble is enough for today."
Matthew 6:34

God is in total control and at those times when we feel that the world is too big we need to focus on His voice - block out all other thoughts or feelings and focus on Him alone.

The second quote from the film that really touched me was this. Clark and his father are having a discussion on growing up and making the right decisions - like whether or not to hit someone who's bullying you and pushing you to your limit. His father says this to him -

"You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is, he's going to change the world."

Now we all know that he's going to change the world because he's an alien who we adopt as a superhero, but have you ever thought about what type of woman YOU are growing up to be - because YOU are going to change the world too. It might not be saving the whole world dressed in a skirt and cape, but I guarantee that how you react when you wake up late, burn the toast and then find out your favourite blouse is still wet, will have an amazing effect on the world around you, especially on whoever shares your house/work space. Or your reaction whenever your child spills a glass of juice beside your phone which just happens to be sitting on the table... Or your reaction when you are trying to run out the door to an important meeting and your husband picks that very moment to remind you (or nag you) about something you haven't done yet.... 

We all need to make sure that our reactions to the things around us show people who we belong to, and who we serve. It's exceedingly hard to always be bright and cheerful in the morning, but isn't it so much nicer when your reaction to people encourages them to react well in turn? And lets face it - our kids are really clued in to our moods and how we act them out. I know that my eldest son always knows when I am upset or annoyed, and makes an extra special effort to give me a wee hug or say 'I love you, Mum' on his way past. Our actions can influence the world around us in so many different ways and the following few verses are always good to remember.

"Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up." 
Proverbs 12:25

"Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body." 
Proverbs 16:24

"A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare."
Proverbs 15:1

Lets focus on God's voice and make the choice to become someone who changes the world because its noticable that we love the Lord. 

The last quote really got to me as I watched the whole of the movie. Again Clark and his dad are chatting about whether or not he should reveal his abilities to those around him, and he is questioning why he was the was he was. His dad says this -

"I have to believe that you were sent here for a reason. And even if it takes the rest of your life, you owe it to yourself to find out what that reason is."

As I journey through my parenting mess I really struggle with why I am here and what I'm doing - or more importantly - what a mess I am making of everything. But you know what - I am here for a reason. I am here because my Father in heaven created me to be here, at this very time, with this particular family, to be the only mother of these 4 wonderful boys. And He picked me not because I am perfect and can do it all - but because He wants me to rely totally on Him, and through my mess and His strength, bring Him untold glory and praise. And do you know what - I can do that!! I can totally praise Him in the mess of my kitchen as I try not to burn the dinner and I can totally praise Him and bring Him glory when I'm faced with a pile of laundry that's bigger than me. Why? Because for the first time in my life I know that it doesn't matter if I mess up or can't cope, because He can always cope and He doesn't EVER make mistakes. 

Superman just needs to be Presbyterian for a wee minute and learn the first catechism. I should add that this is the only one I know (not being Presbyterian myself) but its also very fitting for his questioning. 

"Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever"

Our focus needs to be on Him alone. We need to be the kind of women that shine Gods love for everyone to see - including our husbands and children first thing in the morning! And we need to know that our goal and purpose is to bring glory to God - and when we put it like that, it makes sense of everything else! 

Who knew a trip to the cinema to watch one of the best Superman movies ever - yep it's that good!!! - could make my wee mind go so haywire!! I love it when God uses everyday things to remind us of the things we know but aren't focusing on. Hope this doesn't put you off seeing 'Man of Steel' but I also hope it does make you think about your focus and what kind of person you are, right where God out you. 

Keep shining.... 

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