it’s a process

Get back in your chair.
Eat your food.
Chew with your mouth closed.  
Stop goofing around.
There will be no desert, if you don’t eat the vegetables.
Just try it – you might like it!

Doesn’t sound much like leadership advice, does it? I had four little ones, living far from family, and often felt like I was just hanging on by a thread.  Especially at meal times.

I remember reading a parenting book during those days where the author described family mealtimes as a treasure… all the family gathered around the table, telling stories, laughing, enjoying the togetherness… and I thought, “What planet are they from?” I couldn’t even imagine ever treasuring meal times; they were just a lot of work for me.

And those mealtimes were work – for a season.  We worked on basic manners, and we worked on gratefulness, respect, patience, self-discipline, conversation skills, and the willingness to try new things.  Character issues.  Future leader issues.

It was easy for me to get discouraged and tired and lose sight of how the small daily details fit into the big picture. It was easy to compare and feel like others were doing something more significant for the Lord…

I still struggle with that today.

But when I take time to get away with Him, God reminds me that every experience in life is an opportunity to grow and develop… or to invest and build in to others – future leaders. The small things are significant. My life matters. The daily disciplines help develop character. I just have to remember that the spilled milk and the sticky hands are all part of the process.

Do you get lost in the daily grind? What helps you remember that the process is important?

PS: Today I understand. Mealtimes with my crazy, incredible family are a treasure… but I still have to encourage them to eat their vegetables.

10 thoughts on “it’s a process

  1. Sticky hands. I like that analogy. So many days my hands are sticky — and all I can do is swallow and chew!

    BTW — my neice just started at Azusa; amazing young woman and would love for you to meet her!

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Susan! Could be some days “swallowing and chewing” are just part of the process too! 🙂 It would be great to meet your niece! We have really enjoyed the Global Leadership MA…

  2. Great post! Ellie cries through dinner more often than not, but I really want us to eat together as a family. Before we started doing it, it seemed like such a good idea to get them into the habit of eating with us even though they are only 13 months old. Some nights though, I’d rather hide in the kitchen and eat standing up, than sit through another meal where I can’t even hear what my husband is saying to me. Thanks for the reminder that I’m helping my kids build character now, and eventually dinner will become a pleasant experience. 🙂

    • Rebecca, I’m afraid you probably still have many meals to come when you would rather stand in the kitchen :),… but it will get better little by little! You are doing an amazing job with FOUR – so please give yourself grace at times too! Much love to you!

  3. You hit that one right on the head of the nail in this household! Love that I can soak up wisdom from a mom who has been there and done that! Thanks for writing this!

    • You are welcome! I always needed some encouragement when I was “in the trenches” too. You are doing a great job! I have loved having your family as cross-the-street neighbors!

  4. Sometimes it feels like every single bite is a fight or a complex negotiation. Thank you for reminding me to keep my eye on the big picture.

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