By Janet Lund
Several years ago, my family and I took what is known as the Idaho STAR class (Skills Training Advantage for Riders) for motorcycle riders. Our class was 2½ days of learning motorcycle skills. At the end of the weekend, our skills were put to the test, literally. If we passed, we became licensed riders. Even though it was here in town, I felt like we went away on vacation. It was a hoot!
It’s funny – since I’ve learned to ride, whenever I am driving around town, I still have a hankering to put my hand out and give them the sign. This, of course, would make no sense coming from someone in an automobile, but there it is.
Anyway, on to my point.
One of the most important lessons – and there were many – we learned was this: Wherever you are looking, you will go there.
No matter how much you want to avoid running into the tree ahead of you, if you keep looking at it, you will crash into it.
Wherever your eyes are looking, your front tire will go there. So, you can’t go out riding around staring at all the things you are afraid you are going to run into. Your “evil eye” will not move obstacles out of your way. You must steer yourself clear by looking where you want to go instead.
How is this helpful to me?
It’s easy as parents, and as people in general, to find yourself looking at the things you are afraid of.
Of course, it’s important to become informed and aware of your surroundings. However, continuing to stare at what you are afraid of will impact your world. The longer you stare, the more fear will enter your world. We fear feeling afraid, and in so doing, we become even more afraid.
If you don’t want your children to become afraid of their world, you need to make sure that you are a parent who doesn’t live in fear.
Kids are watching. Always watching! That is how they learn to do life. From the moment their little eyes can focus, they focus on us. Infants mimic our facial expressions. As they grow, they continue to learn how to do things physically and emotionally by observing us. We are constantly teaching them, even when we don’t realize it.
That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to what we are watching. What we focus on we respond and react to. If we aren’t careful, we bring our reactions into our interactions with others.
It also impacts our outlook on life in general. We must watch ourselves.
How do we do this?
Be mindful of where you’re looking. When you are going through difficult times, remember they aren’t the only realities in your life. This does not mean you ignore the negative – quite the contrary. It’s important to acknowledge the tough stuff and be mindful of your feelings – they do matter; but also choose to focus on the good stuff in your world.
Can this be difficult? Good golly, yes! Especially when you have a lot on your plate.
So how in the world do you get through the tough stuff?
10 helpful hints for you and your kids:
- Daily devotions.Do devotions on your own and find a daily devotional for your kids. This is a great habit for your kids to start developing.
- Bible challenge.Have you and your kids read the whole Bible. Maybe even do it together!
- Listen to Christian music.It willlift your spirits and put great earworms in your kids’ heads.
- Pray as a family.Give thanks for all God has given.
- Pray quietly alone.Invite Jesus into your heart and mind daily. Ask that He fill you with wisdom and strength for what the day brings.Invite Him to lead you every step of the way.
- Journal your feelings.This is a great way to care for yourself – by listening.
- Go for a walk.Celebrate all God has blessed you with, just outside your door.
- Explore new places.Visit places you havenever gone before: parks, trails, fishing holes, etc.
- Remember God is bigger.Remind your kids that God is bigger than any troubles.
- Talk to your pastor.Your pastor wants to know how to specifically pray for you.
It’s too easy to allow your head and heart to become overwhelmed by the dark. Satan loves it when we do this. When we feel hopeless, helpless, and alone, he jumps for joy.
It’s a daily choice we must make to look towards the light. We must remember that life here on earth is not as good as it gets. Our time here is temporary. Jesus’ death and resurrection is eternal. He is the great light: ahead of us, behind us, beside us, all around us. Always.
Where rubber meets the road
One of the great things about motorcycles is that when you turn the key, the headlight automatically turns on. Wouldn’t that be a great habit to have yourself? Welcome God each day to turn on your headlight so you can see all that is good. Your kids will see it too!
Keep Calm. Ride On. Follow the Light.
Want to learn more about the STAR program? Go here: https://idahostar.org/
Janet Lund is a relationship coach who specializes in nurturing the bond between moms and their teen/pre-teen daughters. She leads moms through coaching, speaking, and songwriting. Janet has spoken and performed in Canada, the United States, and Norway. Follow her on facebook.com/momkeepcalm and visit her website at www.momkeepcalm.com for parenting tools and words of support to be a calm mom.