3 Reasons to Lean In to other people’s children…especially when they stumble

3 Reasons to Lean In to other people's kids...especially when they stumbleBrrrring.

Melissa hesitated to answer. It was the dreaded phone call from the mother of the boy her 6-year-old foster child had just punched in the face on the school playground.

Melissa’s family brought Joey into their home 2 years ago while his mother tackled the consequences of her addictions. Their family loves really well even welcoming Joey’s mother into their house every Friday for an overnight while she works through her recovery.

Joey therefore looks forward to Fridays all week. Friday was a special day. Friday had significance. He knew that he would be with his mama. He didn’t see her struggles, just the face of a woman who he loved.

But 2 weeks ago, Friday came and went, and mama didn’t come…didn’t even call. Then again last Friday, no word from her. She had a setback in her recovery.

Brrrring.

Melissa humbly answered her cell ready to apologize for Joey’s playground punch.

Any parent knows that terrible feeling when your child has wronged somebody else’s beloved child. It’s not a fun place to be.

But before Melissa could speak, the other mother began,

“Hi, it’s Tam. We were hoping Joey could come over this afternoon for a playdate. We want to make sure he knows how much we still love him.”

What?????

I imagine Melissa’s mind went something like this,

“My foster child just closed-fist punched your son in the face two hours ago, and you are inviting him over for a playdate… today? So he feels loved?”

I burst into tears hearing this.

Can we just pause at her response?

Oh the love!

So much beauty is said through her words. What if we met the people in our life with a love like that? A love filled with grace and mercy that doesn’t turn when we stumble. A love that says when you wrong me, I still love you.How do we look beyond behavior to the heart of a child? Great insight into why and how we can Lean In to other people's children

What if we met other people’s children with a grace like that?

The teenager that texted inappropriately

The middle school clique filled with girl drama and gossip

The bully on the school bus

 Why and How to Lean In to other people's children when they struggle3 Ways to Lean In to our children when they stumble

 

Why it is important to Lean In to kids when they are struggle.

 

Our instinct is to pull back.

To judge.

To gossip.

To ultimately feel better about our own children and parenting.

But what if we leaned in as a community, not with judgment but GRACE and LOVE?

What would change?

Lives.

Why and How to Lean In to our youth. Our tendency to is pull away from the "bad kids" yet that opposite of what they really need.

3 Reasons to Lean In to other people's children...particularly when they stumble.

A book that has rocked my world in understanding grace is Parenting A Wholehearted Child by Jeannie Cunnion. If you desire to better understand how the grace of God can radically change your family, read it.

We don’t know the hidden stories and unseen struggles of the people around us. We often see their actions, not the pain in their heart.Often we pull away from the "bad kid" who continues to get in trouble. Here are 3 reasons why we should Lean In and how to do that.

For the 6-year-old foster boy longing to see his mother at week’s end… what was it that caused him to lash out?

Just 3 innocent words spoken by his friend.

“It’s not Friday.”

And with that his heartbreak came out in a punch.

But because one woman chose to lean in, he was met with what he really needed…Love.

 

Often we pull away from the trouble maker kids when what we really need to be doing is the opposite. Here is why and how to lean in.

  1. Kids need other adults speaking truth into them. This is especially important as children reach middle and high school. Often teenagers hear things from teachers, coaches, and other adults they might not receive from their parents. It is a different role than the parent yet can back them up by reinforcing truths from a different angle.

Andy Stanley once said, to have influence in a person’s life, we must start with a relationship. We need a relationship before our words will ever have influence. At that point, loving correction can help children see that although their actions may seem justified, there are consequences to poor choices. Our goal is not simply acceptance but changed future behavior.

  1. We have the opportunity to affirm in children who they truly are, not who their missteps dictate they are. It is a powerful moment when a child understands their identity is not based on performance or actions, but on who they are as a child of God, forgiven and covered in grace.
  1. The easiest way to show love to your friends, is to love their children wholeheartedly. Invest in those relationships. I feel most loved in my life when my friends graciously and compassionately lean into my children when they stumble. They offer hugs, encouragement, guidance and speak truth into their souls.

This is community.

Often we pull back from the trouble makers and "bad" kids when they really need us to Lean In. This post explains why relationship is the gateway to influence.10 Ways how we can Lean Into other people's kids who are stumbling and 3 Reasons why this is incredibly important.

 ♥ Allison

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What these ladies did to turn a friend’s day around, and what they received in return

Love what these ladies did to turn their friend's day around. |the House of HendrixI love women. There is a universal bond between us that has its own language. We all package it differently, but deep down we understand that a great haircut or a few pieces of sea salted dark chocolate really can make us feel better, even if just temporarily.

We recognize the irony of wiping down our kitchen counters 10 times a day trying to control life even when our bathrooms haven’t been cleaned in weeks.

A while back I wrote a post about girlfriends, which had more than a million views. The comments and stories taught me that women crave authentic, deep relationships with each other, yet our insecurities and fear of being judged often get in the way.

This morning I had the privilege of seeing women at their best.

For the past year I have met with a small group of ladies who get together weekly for a Bible study in my friend’s home. These are not your ‘Have-it-all-together’ kind of ladies. They are real women with real struggles who are doing the best they can.

My friend, Michelle, has been battling a condition for 8 years that has her in periods of intense, chronic pain. Can you imagine 8 years of pain? She is understandably exhausted in body, mind and spirit, yet continues to push through with a smile on her face and a determination to not be defeated.

When she said that she simply didn’t have the physical energy to come to our small group this week, we understood the struggle behind her words. Simply cooking dinner for her family uses up everything she’s got.

My friend, Trisha, e-mailed our group suggesting we meet across town at Michelle’s house this week. I secretly wondered if Michelle would even want us in her home. However, that email was a spark that turned into something beautiful.

We showed up today at Michelle’s house IN OUR PAJAMAS because…Who wants a bunch of women in cute outfits in your home when you are in pain, right?

But my girlfriends didn’t just wear their jammies. They had their heads filled with ridiculous curlers and were wearing those oversized-cushy slippers not meant for the outdoors. They looked fabulous!Love what these ladies did to turn their friend's day around.

Each woman brought her own cleaning supplies too because…

Do you know what 12 women with cleaning supplies can do?

Deep clean a house in 30 minutes.

So as these curler and jammie-laden women got out of their cars with Swiffers, buckets, and feather dusters, my heart began to melt, because women get it.

A clean house when you are absolutely exhausted can turn your day around.

A gentleman walking his dog stared at us in the driveway and said, “I’m not even going to ask.” We laughed.This is why women rock. Absolutely love what these ladies did to turn their friend's day around.

How would you feel if 12 women with curlers and feather dusters showed up at your house. This is why women rock!

As we went inside our friend’s home, everybody scattered. No cleaning plan was necessary because as women we already knew.

Girlfriends at their best. Love this story of friendship

One woman immediately began stripping beds and starting the laundry. Another few headed straight for the master bathtub.

This is fabulous! ADORE how these women turned their friend's day around. Girlfriends rock!

There is nothing like girlfriends! This story of what these ladies did to turn their friend's day around proves it.

Several women were stocking the refrigerator with dinners for the week.

I saw a friend pull out new board games and place them on the breakfast table for their children, while another took measurements to fix some broken curtains.Such a genius way to make a friend smile. Must read

We wrote out verses and words of encouragement on colorful index cards and taped them on mirrors, cabinet doors, and bedside tables…surrounding this home with encouragement.Hang words of encouragement or Bible verses were hung on mirrors, cabinets, and drawers.

To keep Michelle from trying to help, we gave her a deep tissue massage while her house was being cleaned. She closed her eyes and moaned as the burning sensations through her limbs lessened. As her pain fled, the checklist of things she deeply desired to do for her family got done.

Women understand. We need each other because life gets hard.

After we finished cleaning, we circled together giddy with excitement to pray. Why women need each other.

One woman summed it up perfectly,

“This is the most joyful day I can remember.”

It truly was. Every woman there was invigorated and filled with delight from simply cleaning our friend’s home.

But that would never have happened without one thing:

a woman being vulnerable enough to humbly allow us in to see her dirt.

THAT is what makes this story beautiful. It was her willingness to be real which permitted 12 women the gift of overflowing joy.

Women don’t mind each other’s dirt. We crave the authenticity of it.

We’re wired to connect on a level beyond the superficial, but it requires vulnerability, and that can be scary.

Michelle reminded me of this today.

There is no greater privilege than when a friend welcomes you in just as she is…and just as you are.

Let’s stop striving for an image of perfection, and instead be exceedingly gracious in our judgments of both ourselves and others. THAT invites authentic relationships.

But more than anything, being real with our girlfriends gives us the opportunity to turn each others’ days around, and we need each other to get us through the dirt.

Allison

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50 Adorable Ways to Love on your Family

Absolutely LOVE these ides on fun ways to love on your family. \the House of HendrixFebruary is that month that makes me want to stage a LOVE ATTACK on my family!

I don’t believe you can over-love people. Sometimes it’s quiet and subtle, and other times it’s loud and, in my case, obnoxious.

The ever-inspiring Bob Goff, author of Love Does says,

“Do not save up love like you’re trying to retire on it. Give it away like you are made of it.”

I want my family so saturated in my love, there is no doubt in their minds where my heart is at.great Love leaves little doubt.

These 50 gestures are simply fun, memorable ways to infuse love into our families. Combined with those quiet, intimate moments of intentionality, our families are certainly going to have their love tanks filled this month.

  1. Tell your child how much you absolutely adore being their mommy.
  2. Enter your child’s world for an afternoon. Let them teach you how to master Minecraft or perfect your cartwheel.
  3. Make your man a card. Save money and add sentiment with this one I made over at Bloglovin’ by Jenny Collier. I absolutely LOVE it.50 adorable ways to love on your family.
  4. Refer to your husband as your boyfriend in front of your children. Watch them giggle.
  5. Leave love notes for your children on their pillow. Love notes on the bed
  6. When you are dropping your child off in car line for school, keep driving. Have a mommy/child Day doing all of your favorite things.
  7. Decorate the car with love.Decorate the inside of your car
  8. Surprise your husband at work. Give him a simple kiss and then leave.
  9. Have your children write what they love about their siblings.
  10. Make scrumptious heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast. Try this delicious recipe for Strawberry & Sprinkles Buttermilk Pancakes by Averie Cooks. Strawberry and Sprinkle Pancakes by Averie Cooks
  11. Throw down your little ones and kiss them to death.
  12. Throw in some tickles for some extra fun. (even my 12-year-old lines up for this)
  13. Look your loved one in the eye every time they speak.
  14. Give a stack of  “Open When” letters that your husband or teen can open when…. (life love lauren)Give your man a stack of letters that he can "Open When"...
  15. Remember your teenagers still need your hugs and physically touch.
  16. Order a heart-shaped pizza from Papa John’s.
  17. Play Valentine Minute to Win it Games. (Here)
  18. Talk about unconditional love. Explain that nothing they ever do can make you love them any more or less than you do now.
  19. Leave sticky notes in unexpected places. Leave sticky notes in unusual places.
  20. Show up at school unexpectedly with a special lunch treat.
  21. Call your mom or Grandma, and thank her for the ways she has been a role model for you. Remember the legacy from which you came.
  22. What ever your child is passionate about, become passionate about it too. It’s an opportunity to connect. If they run, run with them. If they’re into abandoned mine shafts (just saying), watch the countless YouTube videos with them.
  23. Make Blessing Jars for each member of your family. (the Complete Guide to Imperfect Living)Things that we love about you Blessings Jars
  24. Remember the rules of hugging.When hugging a child, never be the first to let go.
  25. Let your children catch you flirting with your spouse.
  26. Have a girl’s day with your daughter and get your fingernails painted together.
  27. Leave sweet notes around your child’s room for them to discover. Leave liitle love  notes around your child's room for them to discover. "You are my Happy!" the House of Hendrix
  28.  Buy something pretty for your husband’s eyes only.
  29. Add a little love to dinner with these adorable roasted potatoes. Easy recipe by Haniela. Add a little love to dinner with these adorable roasted potatoes. Recipe by Haniela.
  30. Tell your kids funny stories about when they were babies.
  31. Cover your trampoline with chalk hearts and then jump with them.
  32. Let your lips do the talking for a good morning message (and laugh uncontrollably when your child walks in as you are sitting in the sink kissing the mirror)Kiss a heart into your man's bathroom for a fun and flirty surprise.
  33. Send a fruity love note to school with edible markers. (Cake Whiz) You can buy edible markers here.Use edible markers to decorate lunch box fruit for a fun surprise.
  34. Learn how to speak their language. Here’s the Valentine’s I made for my boys this year. You can print it here.Printable Card for your video game lover. I'd Pause my Game for you the House of Hendrix
  35. When your child is talking back, model gentleness, kindness, and most of all love.
  36. Tell your man you woke up wanting to kiss him.
  37. Let your daily rituals speak love. Let your coffee do the talking with these sweet mugs
  38. Spoil each other. Give this adorable book of Love Coupons! Print them at I Heart Naptime.What an adorable and simple gift. Print these Love Coupons by I Heart Naptime for a quick and very appreciated gift.
  39. Hang twinkle lights over your bed frame.
  40. Leave a note on their laptop.
  41. Use window markers and draw hearts on your child’s bedroom window.
  42. Add a memorable touch to activities you are already doing together. My tough guys have been doing devotions and story time in the attic… just because.Add a memorable touch by simply changing up the venue for things like story time.
  43. Send text messages through out the day that each start with,  “I love you because…”
  44. Ask your child if their love tank is full.
  45. Create a sidewalk chalk path of love.Create a path of love with sidewalk chalk hearts
  46. Speak their Love Language. Jen’s husband’s was Words of Affirmation so she did this.A heart of affirmation. A sweet idea for a spouse.
  47. Send a mid-day note in their lunchbox so they know you are thinking about them and excited to see them again.Send a mid-day note in their lunch box.
  48. Let your hugs linger.
  49. Speak truth into your child with Mirror Messages. You are SOUL beautiful. Speak truth into your daughter with mirror messages.
  50. Love Extravagantly even when it’s hard. Whether through a gentle whisper or heartfelt action, may our families know the depth with which we love them.

Joyfully, Allison

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