Today we are featuring Lauren Hawley for our Moms in Progress.
Hi Lauren! You have a beautiful family. Can you tell us a little about them?
Let’s see, my husband and I have been married for 12 years. He works for a nearby school district and I get to be home with our 3 girls. Our oldest is 8 and loves playing ukulele. Our middle is 6 and could spend all day drawing, coloring, and creating art. And our youngest is 4 and loves her some snuggles! I am beyond grateful for each of them!!
That is special that you are able to stay home with those creative and sweet girls! Is there a truth you could share with us that has helped you recently?
We have been in a tough season as a family for the past few months. Because of the season my husband is in with his work, I guess you could say that our family norms and rhythms have had to change temporarily. It has naturally been hard on all 5 of us. We found out recently that it is going to be quite a bit longer before we are going to get our daddy/hubby back, but the Lord has been carrying me and giving me new perspective as we walk through this with Him.
Wow, that sounds challenging, but I’m glad you are able to rely on God’s strength to carry you through. Those seasons can be so tough and hard on everyone. What else God is teaching you?
I have two very dear friends who are walking through two different but probably two of the hardest seasons I could imagine. It is supernatural the way they are both handling each of their situations and both attribute it 100% to the Lord. And as I talked with one of them this week, God gently reminded me that this is what He does – He is the perfect Daddy and when His kids are struggling, He carries them. Every day He gives us fresh daily bread, exactly what we need for that day, for that moment. So we don’t need to worry about where the bread (be it peace, joy, rest, etc.) will come from or how we will get it tomorrow, next week or even months from now. He is faithful to give us just what we need for today. The goal of life is not to avoid pain and hardships, but it’s a journey with our Good Father who takes perfect care of His kids whom He loves. Sorry, that was long-winded but it’s fresh!
I love that! Thank you for reminding us of such a wonderful truth! What would you say is your hardest parenting struggle currently?
I think right now it’s trying to navigate the attitudes. Our kids are getting old enough now that they know what we expect from them behaviorally, but what is tricky is getting to the bottom of attitudes and hard hearts. When they are younger, you’re teaching them how to share and obey – things that feel almost easier or more black and white to discipline for. But as they are getting older, the disrespectful response here or the harsh word there, feel much harder to stop and get to the heart of.
I hear you. Intentional parenting to reach my kids’ hearts is a real struggle sometimes! I feel like I’m learning more about this all the time too! Is there a victory you’ve experienced lately?
Well, I guess we did have a small victory in this area recently. I desperately want to protect my girls’ friendships with each other and not leave room for hurt or bitterness to weasel its way between them. The other day one of my girls said that she wished one of her sisters wouldn’t have played with her and her friends the day before…right in front of that sister.
Ouch. So how did you handle it?
I told her that those are the kinds of comments that can go down deep and take root in a person’s heart and that her friendships with her sisters are the ones she wants to fight the hardest for. She got ready to apologize but I could tell there wasn’t a heart change and that she was just going to say it so that she could move on, so I asked her to go in the other room and ask the Lord to soften her heart and to ask Him what He would want her to say to her sister. She said, “But I don’t know how to hear His voice!” I told her He wants to speak and we don’t always know how He will, but that I wanted her to ask Him and listen.
That’s great. How did she respond to that?
By God’s grace, she came back in the room a few minutes later and said that when she was listening, a random song popped into her head. It was a song called, “Native Tongue” by Switchfoot, and it’s all about how Love is our native tongue and the one that God intended for us to speak to each other in when He created us! “Yes! That sounds like the Lord!” I told her. So we went back to her sister and she apologized to her, asked for her forgiveness, and then all three of us sang it together. I’m so grateful that He can and wants to do even greater works in our children than we can. And also thankful for victories like this in what feels sometimes like a sea of failures!
Yes!! Go, Mama!! Sounds like a pretty big victory! Speaking of failures, what is your most embarrassing mom fail?
When my oldest was in Kindergarten she would periodically take the bus. One day, I was running a little late and I got out there just in time to see the bus fly by our house and see my 5-year-old’s eyes get big as she zoomed by. I didn’t know what to do so I just took off running down the street after the bus, waving my arms and yelling (bless my heart…and my neighbors’ hearts). Luckily they finally saw me at the next block down but unfortunately this was not the last time this happened. Needless to say, none of my kids ride the bus anymore!!
That’s hilarious! ? I can just see you running down the street waving and yelling! Bless your heart, indeed! Switching gears a little bit, what is your favorite summer activity to do as a family?
Having passes and going to a nearby amusement park has been so fun for our family! But I have to say, as we have gotten into this busier season, we have really tried to simplify our time together by going on hikes. There are no distractions or people-watching to do, and it has been so life-giving for all of us!!
That’s amazing. It’s important to have a balance of crazy fun and quiet fun. Speaking of fun, what’s your favorite movie?
“Anne of Green Gables” (I cry just listening to the soundtrack!).
That’s so funny! “Anne of Green Gables” is my favorite movie too! I have the sheet music for the theme song and it’s such an emotional, pretty song!
Thank you for sharing with us today, Lauren! I’m positive you’ve encouraged and inspired our readers out there!