I am so thankful to the Lord for my children. I am so thankful that I have the privledge of being at home with them and enjoying them all day long. However, my confession to you this morning is that I am not truly “enjoying” them all day long. I am breaking up fights, cleaning up spills, picking up legos, directing, redirecting, reminding and herding. I have boys. They like to compete — “I got in my seat first! I held the door first! My tower is better than yours!” If I had a dime for everytime I said, “That is pride. We do not boast,” then I could pay for myself a baby-sitter and go get a pedicure! So why do I tell you all of this? Well, one of my favorite parenting references is http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com by Elizabeth Krueger. I love her stuff. If you go to her website, and I encourage you to do so, you will see that one of her earmarks is called “tomato staking”. She writes, “a tomato plant which has been properly cared for, will produce an abundance of excellent fruit. From the beginning it must be watered, cultivated, pruned, fertilized, examined for pests, and staked up. The branches will grow the way they were propped and trained. Tomato Staking is a powerful tool that enables preemptive parenting. When you Tomato Stake, you can anticipate wrong attitudes and misbehaviors and nip things in the bud before they become ingrained habits. You are right there to encourage right behavior as well. And, of course, it’s easy to get to know your child when you spend time with him. And the better you know him, the more likely it is that you will develop a close, loving relationship, and will remain close throughout life. Tomato Staking provides you with the avenue to be a teacher, mentor, friend and more to your child.” Wow. Who doesn’t want this? Tomato Staking is the art of keeping your kids close to you in order to really train them. My prayer for my boys, especially Grant and Ethan, is that they would learn to really ENJOY each other this summer. They really have no other choice. They are together all of the time! Now last summer we were in a completely different place. Ethan had just turned 2 and I said a thousand times, “Grant be easy. He is little. He doesn’t understand.” Well, that gap has closed and they are at a place where they can really learn community on a small scale. They are little, but they can still learn to put others first, die to self and serve those around them. Absolutely. So this is my summer challenge. To stake some little tomatoes in order to train them to live in a harmonious community :). I want to be close to my kiddos this summer – Involve them in everything I do and vice versa. I am praying we come to a place of really enjoying each other. So I invite you to join me in my tomato staking. Is there an area that your kids really attention? A behavior that needs nipping? I’d love to be praying for you. I will keep you all posted, pun intended, on how things are going with my journey. Please be praying that my boys will continue to grow in their love for Jesus and eachother. Happy Staking!
My tomato staking summer