Friday, May 25, 2012

Self Improvement for Dummies

Lately I've been struggling with what role God plays in my life. Does He cause bad and/or good things to happen? Does He stop bad and/or good things from happening? It's been a real struggle and, sadly, I haven't come to a conclusion with how I think it ends. It got pretty bad there for some time until I came to this conclusion: whatever role God plays, there is something I can learn from my trials. So I've really been trying to approach hardships with a new attitude.  Where normally I'd say, "Really, God? Really?!" instead I'll take a deep breath and say, "Okay. What can I learn from this?"

We've really been struggling with Rhett. While a good kid away from home (I think), at home he will not listen nor obey. At all. I find myself repeating things 15 times a day. And then, even when he does hear me, it doesn't mean he'll obey. It's been so difficult. So very, very difficult. I find myself yelling at Rhett far more than I want (because I don't want to at all) and pleading with him to obey--pleeeease obey. "If you obey, it makes life so much easier for everyone! When you obey, we can do more fun things! I put those rules in place because I want you to grow up to be a good person and it's my job to teach you! I also put rules in place to keep you healthy and strong, not because I'm mean and I don't want you to eat candy (at least, all the time)!" I should really write these things down and just hold up the cards when needed. It sure would save my voice.

Parenting, in general, has been a medium-large-sized trial in my life and with Ollie's early wake times and Rhett's complete disobedience, it's been a rough time. So when I tried to think about the things I can learn, one HUGE lesson popped out at me: This must be exactly how Heavenly Father feels about me. (Cue angels singing and light streaming from heaven down on me.) If I read those things in quotes in the above paragraph, uh, I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father has slapped his forehead when I'm being pigheaded and disobedient and held up His own cards for me to read. "Erin, if you'd just obey, I could give you more blessings! I want you to grow up strong and good and that's why I gave you commandments to follow! Candy is good; eat it all the time!" Well, maybe not the last one, but you never know.

I know it's not hugely profound, and many of you have probably already learned this. But I tend to be a bit slow when admitting my own faults. Hopefully I'll be quicker to remedy it.

I also have noticed that I need some bettering in other spots of my life. Specifically...

1. I like to read but only do it on the metro to/from work. Seeing as though that's only four times per week, it can take a long time to read a 1,000-page book (which is what I'm doing). So I'd like to be better about putting aside time to read.

2. I also want to be better about getting the boys some real outside time every day. Sure they run with me or walk the dog with us, but that's not good enough. They need to be on the ground playing. So I'm going to try to do that better.

3. Also, I think Rhett needs some special one-on-one attention. To remedy this, once a month we'll do "Rhett Day" wherein one parent takes Rhett out for the day (or just a couple of hours). Now that he's pretty much okay without a nap, it's so much easier to do.

4. Finally, I want to learn some basic Japanese in prep for our June 2013 trip. I have an app on my iPod, I just need to use it.

But that's all. In every other way I'm totally perfect.

P.S. Be sure to come back Monday as I have another super fun post just waiting. Seriously. I am soooooo excited about this.


  1. I can sure relate! Our current challenge with Axton (because there always is one) is staying in his bed at bedtime. Sometimes it's a 2+ hour battle. It's not the "I want a drink, I need to go potty, I'm scared of the dark..." It's pure defiance. It just ruins our evenings! It's been rough. What we're trying to learn is to remain calm and to not react. SO HARD! We have tried sooooo many things, but keeping calm is what we know we need to do. It's just difficult!

  2. Very good point!! I feel the same as you. Listen to me!! Please obey! I think I asked Molly to get dressed about 10 times today. I love that you have some goals though and that's how you start! I think the outside time is important and so good for kids. I'm glad it's warmed up and I've noticed they love going out and riding bikes or doing whatever.

    Oh and the whole one on one thing is important too. Whenever Molly starts acting like a baby often, we realize that's what she needs. But it's hard and we forget sometimes!! I'm excited to see what Monday is about!! ;)

  3. I can totally relate, but hopefully for Rhett it's a "phase." Mitt will be VERY obedient and then VERY defiant, and Major never really listens, and only occasionally obeys. So far Emery listens and obeys, but we have our moments. I agree. I really LOVE the parenting with love and logic series.....I used it teaching too....when I remember and am CONSISTENT, I definitely see results. GOOD LUCK.