The acronym is an extension from a moment of quick thinking in handling my oldest child the other night. Having worked herself into an emotional frenzy for not liking what she was told, I couldn't get her to calm down. Nor could she catch her breath to do it on her own. Hopefully we will have long had this under control, well before she hits the teen years, but for now, it's still a work in progress. However, these moments raise my frustration level and... well, gotta love parenthood. What do I do? The joy of being the adult... actually have to do the adult, mature, responsible thing, no matter how hard it may be in the heat of the moment.
What gets me, is how fast the emotions turn. It's like a switch! Could you locate it again? RED LIGHT! As quickly as you started, you need to turn it back off. You have to stop. You have to get control. As I continued trying to figure out how to get my message through to her, that she wasn't hearing, I walked across the room, grabbed a pen and paper (which turned out to be the back of the phone bill) and wrote the following:
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS STOP. (caps not for emphasis, it's just how I actually write on paper)
Having taken a deep breath or two as I walked back across the room, I sat next to her and read it. Then had her recite it with me. After a few rounds, I replaced the "YOU" with "I".
ALL I HAVE TO DO IS STOP.
A few more recitations, then I inserted her name after the "I". Moments later, it had gotten through. Light switch found!! (for now)
I've since decided the phrase needs to be a family motto for our household. As shared in Tuesday's prayer post, situations and tensions, peoples' actions and responses can change so quickly, it will make your head spin. By the time mine stops spinning, there's a couple of new gray hairs that have joined the coup d'etat on my face. But before getting bent out of shape, frustrated, angry and flying off emotional handles, how much better would things turn out if we took a deep breath, and...
Stop. Think. Decide. Act.
Compose yourself. Give yourself a few minutes to assess what's going on. Figure out some appropriate options and make the decision based upon on what is best, all things considered. Then move forward accordingly.
It's advice I'd be better off following more often. It's something I want to instill in my kids. It probably help provide some reinforcement to my marriage, for no matter how strong marriage is, reinforcement is a good idea. And kids will be kids. Parents around the globe experience breakdowns such as this in their kids. As do pastors, in their own families. They also see the aftermath of kids, whose parents haven't handled parenting duties well. They see the aftermath of kids who haven't been taught self-control, in their words, actions and behaviors; physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
So as much as I covet your prayers, I covet your prayers for pastors. Struggling to raise their own kids, while noticing daily reminders in the lives of others; how important their job is at home, to do well. In the meantime, they can only do so much for the kids in their ministry; as they watch their lives unfold, perhaps not having Godly principles instilled in them at home, let alone reinforced.
Pray, this #youthPastorWednesday... for this generation of young people; being shorted on so many levels, missing the stability of a Godly marriage in the home, lacking a Biblical foundation of principled-living, denied the truth of a God who created them, loves them and has a plan and a purpose for their lives... that they have a destiny beyond the tecnhology they hold in their hand that didn't even exist on the day of their birth, perhaps! Pray for pastors, struggling in the raising of their own kids... perhaps at a loss of what to do and say that will change the lives of those kids in their ministry who are facing troubling and difficult situations; circumstances that are robbing of them of their childhood, forcing them to grow up and take on life much sooner than expected. Pray God would bring supernatural wisdom and direction and healing, as we learn to control and compose our life; that we may act and respond in ways that would glorify Christ and not self.
May we seek His face, in all things. It's so easy to do, when we remind ourselves, that no matter what we are going through...
ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS STOP.
Just a man, attempting to fulfill God's plan. Husband, Dad, Dreamer. Blogger.