Maybe it’s just because it’s summer. Maybe because I feel like we’re in the spotlight. Maybe because I compare too much. But I know for sure there is too much breaking down in our home lately.
And I’m not talking dancing. I’m not talking about cardboard boxes. I’m talking about negativity.
I’m reading a book by Bill Hybels entitled Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul. Lots of good truths in this book. But one thing that spoke to me clearly was this: Any environment consists of building up or breaking down. Blessing or burden. In this instance he was speaking about the environment in his and other church staff.
But I couldn’t help but think about our home. It seems we do far more busting and breaking some days than we do building, encouraging and blessing. Maybe we’ll never get it 100% right but if we don’t try we’ll never change. And I’m inspired to change us for good.
My children can be encouragers.
And I can be their model. I can strengthen and boost their spirits. We can be heart warmers. We can be givers of cheer and praise. We can live with the hope that’s within us. We can be deliverers of joy. We can offer mercy. We can applaud one another.
I want my children to be each others cheerleaders. I want them to know that Mom and Dad have got their back. I want them to know that big brother is pushing for them.
So I ask them a lot throughout the day: Are you being a builder or a breaker?
Are you helping to build up our home or are you tearing it down? Occasionally they answer in a joking matter. But I know in their heart right away they know the answer.
I’m challenging them to do the same for me. In a respectful way of course.
Is Mom building the kids up or is she tearing them down? Is Mom giving loving advice or is mom’s lips tight and her tone harsh?
Is Mom teaching out of love or is she depleted and frustrated?
What comes out of my mouth goes into their hearts.
And as always we take our encouragement from the Word of God. The only true word that gives us hope. Because at times I honestly don’t know if we’ll every completely change. I mean after all we’re human. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to wrongly accuse. We’re going to say unkind things.
But if you don’t work at something you can expect results.
And I won’t changed reactions.
I want PRAISE to be on our lips.
ENCOURAGEMENT to easily slip off of our tongue.
JOY to mirror our heart and be shared with everyone we meet.
And so mediate on God’s word. And I leave you with this today. So encourage each other and build one another up…
Here’s hoping that we will live that out day by day.
How about you? What key thing are you working on in our home environment right now?
Love and blessings,
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
Hi, Melanie! It’s been a while since I’ve read one of your inspirational posts, but now I realise I’ve been missing out! This is very encouraging and definitely something to think about.
P.S. I love your pictures with the quotes on, by the way!
Thanks Helen! You’re so sweet. I appreciate your kind words.
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
What an inspiring post, Melanie! It sounds like the book you’re reading is very encouraging. And I love how you explain being a builder or breaker, definitely gives me something to think about. Although I don’t have any kids yet, I think this is something that my husband and I could discuss. Such a powerful message!
Thanks Melanie for a good reminder. Have a beautiful day!!
Thanks for being here Janet. So glad you stopped by!
Layla @ Brunch Time Baker says
This is such a great post! I have a 6 year old and I find myself forgetting to encourage and motivate her. I notice that motivation an encouragement have a great impact on the way our children develop an face the world.
Shashi @ runninsrilankan says
Melanie – this is such a beautiful post.
Its such a beautiful thing when God sends us a similar message through different outlets – you mentioned to give praise – On Monday night my devotional ran along the same lines http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/desert/streams-in-the-desert-august-4th.html and then I found a video of a homeless man who was so grateful and so full of happiness -inspite of his circumstances- for a strangers kindness!
I only have one daughter and home is a good environment – now work on the other hand…
Chris @ Shared Appetite says
Beautiful post, Melanie! Love your reflective posts. I always leave feeling encouraged!
Thanks Chris! I appreciate your kind words!
Ashley @ My Midwest Table says
Thanks for sharing, Melanie! I’m going to start asking this question to my boys, and I’m going to think about it before answering in frustration or asking for the umpteenth time. 🙂 And I’m going to challenge them to remind me, too.