Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Opportunity



Albert Einstein once said, "In the middle of difficulty likes opportunity."

When I read the quote prompt for this week, I couldn't help but think of this post that I just wrote last week, in which I shared about a little flare up of bad behavior from Amanda. But look at the italicized part in this quote from my post--

So, apparently my parenting skills have been so lax of late, that saying no to your mom is not deemed as something "really bad." So, I am accepting responsibility. And I feel okay about the whole situation. Because I did stand firm then, and we discussed it on the way home, she now knows that it is absolutely not acceptable, and we have set the bar. We've told her that she will be penalized or punished each time she tells us no or refuses to do what we've asked her in reasonably short order.

I didn't really elaborate on that statement then, but apparently Albert Einstein and I think alike. That was what I meant by being okay with the whole situation. If the difficulty never occured, we would not have had a chance to unequivacably state our expectations. It's okay, because of our response. We took the opportunity to restate, and perhaps even raise the bar, on our expectations of her behavior. The difficulty served as a reminder to her, but I think more importantly, to us as well, in how diligent we need to be in coaching her.

This is the cornerstone of Romans 8:28, "All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose." Good lies in the opportunity. Life can definitely be difficult. Do you learn life's lessons, or do you keep making the same mistakes over and over again? How do you handle your difficulties, and thus model for your children how they should respond--as something to hold on to and foster bitterness, or as an opportunity to learn from?

See how other Christian Women Online have interpreted the quote this week here:

11 comments:

Laurel Wreath said...

Excellent words. Really spoke to my heart. Thank you.

eph2810 said...

Great statements you made, Jennifer! "Do we make the same mistakes over"? I don't know - I think sometimes I do. Especially when it comes to first giving it over to God in prayer and than taking it back to resolve a difficult issue myself...*sigh* - yeah I think I do that in some situations.

BTW - I enjoy your new layout - very cool.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Katrina said...

Great stuff, Jennifer. I've been mulling this thought over in my mind: "Parenting with good intentions is not the same as good parenting." And I think a key part of good parenting is learning, growing, observing, improving as we go...watching for the opportunities that present themselves and taking advantage of them to postively impact our kids.

Beck said...

Oh, wow. My kids routinely say no or just ignore either parent, and I was so used to it that I wasn't even noticing anymore. Thanks for the wake-up call.

Heather said...

Wow! The new site look - glamorous! Love it!
This quote was perfect for me today. My husband, who is the most wonderful husband in the entire world, and I got into a fight last night. All is made-up, but it's nice in the residue to know that God can use the difficulties of a disagreement to bring us closer and glorify Him.

Sissy B. said...

Wow!! My husband and are having a talk this evening about much the same behavior...from our 11 year old...after reading your post...I am looking at the situation that occurred this morning through a different lens...thanks...it will help as we provide more identifiable bounderies for our daughter..together.

Joy said...

Wonderful post! Got me thinking about what mistakes I might be doing over and over again and so am missing the lessong being taught to me.

Camy Tang said...

That's totally true, that the difficulty gave you the chance to communicate with her. I never thought of things that way, but I can see how disagreements with my husband turned out well because we were able to improve our communication.

Camy

Amydeanne said...

Very good! It's amzing how much we learn, as parents, by parenting, isn't it? Hugs & prayers!

Kari Z. Murphy said...

I really appreciated the comment that it reminded you how diligent you need to be as parents. I've been learning this lesson a lot lately in my own parenting! I thought of the same verse, as well.

Kathleen Marie said...

Very inspired thoughts. I am dealing with the teen years with our youngest son and lately we have had to "raise the bar" as well, simply circumstances just at a different age level. Parenting never ends, even when your children are grown and you are so right when you said that sometimes we need to reset the bar. Thank you and God Bless!