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Posts Tagged ‘Kathi Lipp’

Cure

Criticism Prevention?

There’s no cure, recipe or how-to book created can prevent criticism – deserved or un-deserved.

You can’t prevent your children, your spouse, your family members, your friends – and even you from catching criticism.

You can only learn how to live through it.

What needs to be done?

Needs: Necessarily; indispensably; generally used with must.

Have you ever done that? Tried to prevent your children from receiving criticism? Eating dinner at someone’s house – and your child won’t eat what’s served? A toddling 2 year old wanting to touch all the knickknacks on great Aunt Ruth’s coffee table? A teenager wanting to wear grunge to church or school?

A criticism preventative doesn’t exist.

“How can she live like that,” my mom’s friend asked her when they’d dropped in town for a pop-up visit.

I was a young, married, full-time college student, working 20 hours a week at a local newspaper – and Finals Week was closing in – meaning 10+ page research papers were due, projects had to be complete, and exam preparation.

My apartment living room had been literally covered in projects – the couch, the chairs, the kitchen table, the coffee table. Paper carpeted the floor in organized chaos.

I don’t know if we went to lunch or whether I cooked it. All I know is that by the time they arrived, the carpet was cleared – and the piles – yes, there were still piles – but they were tidier.

For the next 20+ years, if someone came to visit, they could find drawers reorganized, laundry folded and put away, the kitchen sparkling – and no piles lurking.

That day, long ago, I needed some grace. Instead, I put on a shield of perfectionism The shield protected me from criticism and judgementalism that labeled me not enough – I thought. One hand held the shield, the other held the not-enough club.

I would beat myself with for not being perfect enough. The sad irony is that I probably beat myself up much more than anyone else ever did.

This spilled over into my parenting. This time, I was a human shield. I didn’t want little hands getting smacked for touching knickknacks. I didn’t want someone else telling my boys how rude they were to not eat someone’s hard-cooked meal. People did, you know – fuss at them for being too little to know better. I know I just didn’t want them made to feel like they weren’t enough.

I don’t say I protected any of us well, living like that, living perfect for all the wrong reasons. Living to intercept and stop criticism isn’t really living.

The more I understand how God designed me, the more I have been able to lower the shield.

The more I have lowered the shield, the greater role I have given Shaddai – the God of more than enough – in my life.

“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done(2 Cor 9:8)

Did you read that? Ready for anything and everything. . . . for what needs to be done.

Only what needs to be done

Needs: Necessarily; indispensably; generally used with must.

Criticism prevention is not something that needs to be done. As a matter of fact – it has as much chance of being achieved as having everyone in the world see me as God sees me.

Only what needs to be done

I only need to do what God has called me to do. I don’t have to also do what God has called you to do.

I don’t have to have an immaculate house because someone who drops by can’t live like that.

What needs to be done – not prevented, blocked or misdirected.

God didn’t design me – or you – to be a strategic defense initiative to stop in-coming missiles. God tells me, “I’ve got it.”

“They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone are deliverance and strength.'” All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame” (Isaiah 45:24)

What needs to be done?

What needs to be done . . .
The baby needs loving
And the boy needs a band-aid
Tummies need some yellow, green and orange
A glass of milk and chewable protein
bluesy teens need hugging
skin sweating, heart beating ideas
that need hearing needing
a mom to just listen
My husband needs time for unwinding
Some problems need solving and some just need
Time to untangle

What needs to be done
Is the coming together
In the mess, this beautiful mess
Even in paper stacks under chair legs
a sink piled-high with dishes
Laundry that needs folding
Socks that need matching
Tea that needs pouring
While stories take time
In the telling
In the mess, this mess
Made beautiful
When things of God grow
like grace and faith
peace and joy,
kindness, goodness faithfulness
and waiting with hope

What needs to be done
is one-on-one time with the one
who shields us
and takes the beating stick away from us
one-on-one time full of prayers
for all we’re called to reach and love,
and invitations, daily, minute, second
invitations to Shaddai – who is more than enough
who surrounds us
lives in us
and he never says, “How can I live in a place like that”
By living in us
We become the best place of all.

I’m not trying to live this life perfect anymore. I’m trying to live it God’s more-than-enough way.

If you want to break the strangle-hold perfect has over your life, check out The Cure for the Perfect Life by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory.  Maybe you just need encouragement to let go of perfectionism and be who you were designed to be. I’m pretty excited about their book  – 1) because it encourages me to change bad habits in such warm, funny, real supporting ways, and 2) I’m a contributing writer. I’ve been doing the happy dance over here.

A quote from my contribution:

“Coax a child out of the doldrums, you make him happy for a moment. Teach a child to find his own, you’ve given him the tools to be happy for a lifetime.”

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Lipp2_edited-1Ummmm, I need some help here. Do you see me? Hand raised, face red, embarrassed because my by-the-book parenting skills just don’t always produce the results discussed.

Asking for help? Don’t want to do it (ask for help that is) . . . because asking for help equals failure, inadequacy – just plain not measuring up. Doesn’t it?

I used to think so. How terribly wrong I was.

You and I, we were designed to need help. If we didn’t – need help – would we turn to God? Not just turn to God, lift one eye-brow and acknowledge Him – but drop on our knees, drop the very soul of ourselves at His feet and say, “i need YOU.”

God designed us in His image – just like He reaches out to us, we each are designed to reach out. . . . to all His children – the good, the bad, the easy, the hard, the lovable, the unlovable, the hurting and even those who seem so whole, so put together.

I must admit, with my first-born, I didn’t need as much help. I did all the things the parenting books suggested – from love to discipline, to chores to Christ, to loving your neighbor, to teaching about tithing and healing and praying. We successfully launched him into college – and into independence. “Thanks for the independence with training wheels,” he said one day before he graduated. This parenting gig seemed so easy.

I realize now that it wasn’t so much of what we did, but how God designed him: coachable, logical, born-an-old-man. I think Isaac might have been like that to Abraham. I mean, what son or daughter would just hop on top of a sacrificial alter because their dad said it was the right thing to do?

If you’ve had a nest-full of coachable, easy to shepherd, minimal problem kids – you really don’t need to read further. If your nest has been diverse – different personalities, different levels of coachability, differently designed and wired – so that all those parenting books suddenly don’t apply – then Kathi Lipp’s book i need some help here! might be just the read you need.

Have you ever felt like you’re raising a rebel like Samson, a thief and runner like Jacob, someone who run’s from God’s plan like Jonah, the prodigal even – then you probably need some encouragement – someone who won’t condemn your child’s brokenness, blame it on your supposed secret sin, someone who will pray God’s plan with you over your child (regardless of the age) – someone who recognizes that Godly parents have children who struggle – with life – whether it is due to choices, health issues – or outside issues that affect their inner soul.

Kathi points out: “This is the road no one wants to travel the road of having a child that is struggling. But there are priceless treasures along the way if you allow God to work in your life and your child’s (Kathi Lipp).

She also says, “I was not a perfect mom, but I was the mom God chose for them, and therefore I was the perfect mom them” (Lipp).

In the process of raising these children, God refines us. “Once your heart has been broken for your kids, God can use that brokenness to woo you to be the kind of parent he needs you to be,” Kathi explains.

My goal as a parent was to raise whole, healthy children – physically and spiritually. I didn’t want to break them, scathe them, wound them. Yet because of sin, we are all born broken. Because of my brokenness, I cannot be a perfect parent: I cannot fix everything that breaks.

I cannot make everything o.k.

God can, though.

Kathi encourages us in i need some help here! to set healthy boundaries and expectations – not just on our children, but ourselves: when our children are overwhelmed, troubled, different, sick makes poor choices, run away from God, lacks character, struggles and feels left out.

You are not alone. God doesn’t want you or me to be isolated as our children struggle. He doesn’t want us hiding behind shame.  He wants us to encourage each other by our faith in Him. Kathi’s book does just that. You can find more about Kathi over at her place: Kathi Lipp- Your Life. On Purpose.

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