This past weekend I had the glorious opportunity to attend the Sally Clarkson “Momheart” Conference here in DFW.

Yes. I’m still pregnant. Although I had a little “scare” Friday morning…and went to see the doctor. But I got the green light to go to the conference.

When I thought I was going to have the baby and miss the conference, I was devastated (not the typical reaction of an almost 39 week pregnant woman). But I needed this one last “hurrah”. A “cheering session” of sorts before entering the newborn stage.

God was gracious to me. I received exactly what I needed.

Sally Clarkson shared so many wonderful words of inspiration and wisdom. I could write pages and pages with all the things she said. However, as I reflect back on the overall experience there is one main thing I took away:

A new measurement for being a successful mom.

Going into the conference I knew I have been “off-base” in my parenting. I know I’m pregnant and I need to give myself grace. BUT I can’t use that as an excuse for how I’ve been parenting. We’ve been in a bad cycle and I just couldn’t break it.

Over the course of this past weekend several other moms, in addition to Sally, spoke words of encouragement and experiences. Each one shared frustrations with kids who fought. Kids who disobeyed. Kids who said angry or ugly words.

It hit me.

I have been measuring the success of my day and my parenting by my children’s behavior. If they fought. If they disobeyed. If they were “ugly”. THEN I was doing a bad job and we had a bad day.

But according to these moms, their kids do these things too. All kids sin. And they will keep making bad choices and they will keep sinning. In fact, they will sin their entire lives. As their mom, I will continue to sin!

I’ve been using the wrong measuring stick…their behavior.

Sally focuses a lot on connecting with the heart of your child. Spending time working on the relationship. Not allowing life to distract you from your primary ministry in this season…your children.

My new measuring stick of success is my heart connection with my children.

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If we end the day and my children feel loved & accepted, THEN it was a good day. They may have fought. Broken things. Used potty talk. Disobeyed. Thrown tantrums. BUT if I stayed connected with their hearts in the midst of all that…it was a success.

The key for me is not getting emotionally wrapped up in their behavior.

Focusing, instead, on my response. Controlling my reaction. Showing grace and love.

Connecting with their hearts and worrying less about controlling their behavior.

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

What do you use as a measure of whether you had a “good day” or a “bad day” with your kids? Do you struggle with getting emotionally involved in their behavior?

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