What is the purpose of the pause?
So what helped me? When a daughter would say something that “pushed my buttons,” I learned to stop and PAUSE. I could be an adult, take a deep breath, count to 10, if necessary and THINK. What response is best for her?
- Feeding her facts? rarely effective.
- Show her love? Yes, but what kind of love? tender/kind love or bold/truth love…it all depends.
- Ask a question. Often this was an excellent response because I could clarify what was happening...sometimes for both of us! It gave me breathing room so I didn’t need to react right away. It gave me more information so I didn’t have to jump to an unwarranted conclusion.
My husband was extremely helpful to me in ferreting out solutions. He understood much more clearly that people are sinners. I didn’t want to believe that my children really were.
I think part of the reason was because down deep inside, I didn’t want to deal with the fact that I was a sinner and losing my temper/not loving them/wanting my own way…those were all evidences of my sinful heart. If I can’t believe that both I and my kids are naturally sinful, I can’t come up with good solutions to resolve relationship issues.
If I don’t sin and my kids don’t sin, then how can we change…and why is it even necessary? Where can we go for forgiveness? To Whom can we go for a fresh perspective?
How many commitments can you and your family manage?
The more children you have in activities, the more it impacts you.
I observed that when I was over-committed, I was more likely to loose my calm. Cutting back on outside commitments helped my family…and helped me relate better to them. I was the one responsible to get the family to their lessons, meets, etc. with very few exceptions. I didn’t feel so rushed and hurried with a to do list that was impossible to finish! I not only needed pauses in reaction time, I needed pauses in my life!
The principle of sabbath rest is not just needed in relation to Sundays. Sometimes, we need to realize that our life is just too crazy and we need to cut back on all the activity that adds stress to the family…or at least have days when the running around is kept to a minimum!
Show your family that time-outs don’t always have to be punitive. Adults need them too!
I needed to take time-outs for me to think, to be quiet, to be still. If I didn’t, I would just continue to react to my family as things happened…not stopping to think about what was happening…or why, or how my behavior was affecting those around me!
I needed to slow down and give myself time to get places so I wasn’t rushed when I got there. Most of all, I needed to allow time for my children not to feel so rushed and hurried. They needed to be able to have time to “chill”, to have fun, to play, to be kids. They didn’t need to always be on the run going to classes and lessons and all kinds of good activities that were wearing all of us out!
Some people may be able to manage more craziness in their lives than we were…but I don’t think they can manage as much as they think they can. I feel for families that are running themselves ragged with church activities and school activities and lessons and who knows what else.
The test of whether you are too busy has to do with the quality of your relationships.
Are you managing your time in ways that tell your friends and family that they are important to you?
They really don’t need all the insanity! I’m more convinced now than I was back then. Children do well when they have time to read, think, observe life and nature. Getting to know other people, discussing, talking to them and having friends with all ages of people. It makes them well developed and broad. They learn a lot that way. Then, in their times of quiet, they can process what they have learned, read books, think and enjoy looking at stars and daydreaming.
Limit the videos and TV as much as possible so they can develop their creativity. Their developing brains will thank you.
GOD’s calling for you may be different in terms of lifestyle, but you will still need pauses.
I don’t know the calling GOD has on your life. It may be to a lot of craziness. If so, He will give you the grace to treat the people He has placed in your life well…not perfectly of course, but well. Not everyone is called to the same life style. That’s why I said in my earlier post that some of my specific comments will be helpful for some of you and for others they may not be helpful at all.
My point in this one is still that you will need pauses…pauses as you respond to people instead of reacting, pauses to spend time with GOD, pauses to think and process events in your life, your day, your relationships. Otherwise, you won’t grow. You will just continue racing through life reacting, often without thinking through why, instead of learning to respond thoughtfully and respectfully to people and situations as they come.
I think if you can remember there is nothing wrong with a pause in conversation, it will help. When someone asks you a question, does it make you feel uncomfortable if you don’t know how to answer them right away? Pauses may feel uncomfortable to you at first, but as time goes on, you will realize they can be very comforting. A side benefit is that you may seem smarter than you are:)
A pause is a time to collect your thoughts and emotions.
A pause gives you the chance to speak kindly and not yell back angry words when a person says something that triggers an angry response.
A pause gives you an opportunity to shoot a quick request to the GOD who promises to give wisdom, for the words you need.
A pause gives you an occasion to ask your child a question when you want to preach at her or “give her a piece of your mind” that you can’t afford to share.
A pause can refresh your mind, body, soul as you take a few moments away from the noise…with a cold drink, some journaling, a few minutes to bring your worries and burdens to the Lord, or just to take a deep breath!
A pause gives you the chance to respond with “I’ll get back to you on that.” instead of making a commitment you don’t have the time or ability to make. It shows your family you honor them. It also give you time to pray over it to see if the request is one you can help with or GOD may need someone else to work on.
Are you convinced of the value of taking time to pause?
Where do you need to learn to pause?
We have two more in this series and I’ll have to push them in quickly because we’re starting a series for the month of October entitled,
Honey, It’s time to Grow Up!
It will include 31 days of information to help you mature as an adult…in ways you may not have thought of. Join me with many others who will be doing their own 31 day series at The Nesting Place. More info to come. (mine isn’t up yet!)