Monday, September 26, 2011

What Michelle Duggar Taught Me

I'm a huge fan of the Duggar family. Jim Bob and Michelle are parents of 19 kids and grandparents to 2 children. Tomorrow night is the season premiere of their show 19 Kids & Counting on TLC. Their show is a fascinating look at how to make a big family work. But it's more than just organization. The Duggar family isn't just a family that works but a joyful, thriving family that loves the Lord. I had the pleasure in June of meeting the entire Duggar family at a book signing for the newest book,A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make it Work
They are just as genuine and joyful in person. I have learned so many lessons from their show and 2 books. In particular I have learned so much about how to care for children from Michelle. Here are the top lessons I have learned from Michelle Duggar:

Speak softly and sweetly- Michelle Duggar is known for her sweet, soft voice. Honestly with so many children running around it's hard to believe she never raises her voice. I am so impressed at the restraint and patience the Lord has given her. She reminds me of this verse in Proverbs.

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

I have tried this in my own life with the children I nanny for and I am amazed at the results. Speaking in a gentle, sweet voice, even when the children are starting to misbehave, quickly diffuses the situation. The children are happier and I am too. It's incredible the difference tone of voice makes.

Treat children like the blessing they are- We live in a world where children are considered more of a nuisance than a treasure. The Duggar family stands in stark contrast to that. They love and treasure their children like the gift from God that they are. They put their family first and do everything together. But it's more than just time spent together. The time is quality time. Michelle Duggar is present for her children. She isn't busy checking her email or talking on the phone when they need her. Now I know she isn't superwoman and I'm sure she can't be there for her children 100% of the time but it's clear that they are her priority. I love the kids I nanny for and obviously it's my sole job to take care of them and I do. But sometimes it's easy to space out and even though I am physically present my mind and heart are a million miles away. I am trying in these moments to remember the treasure these children are and commit to be 100% present for them.

Don't sweat the small stuff- With 19 kids running around the Duggar house is no doubt loud, messy and chaotic at times, but that is how children are! Michelle Duggar lets her children play, get dirty, take risks and truly experience life. Again she is putting the priority of her children over a quiet, perfectly clean house. She doesn't sweat the small stuff. She lets kids be kids and cares more about the condition of their little hearts than whether or not there are toys in the living room. Sometimes taking care of small kids, I feel like all I do is clean up messes and it can be frustrating to see the kids outside playing in the mud or taking every pillow & blanket in the house to make a fort. But then I take a deep breath and remember messes can always be cleaned up but what is important is giving the kids a chance to play and experience life. They are the priority and I'm thankful to the Duggars' show and books for reminding me of that.

Trust in the promises of God-In the Duggars latest book they were very upfront in sharing many challenges that they have endured particularly in the last 2 years with their youngest child Josie. Michelle shared one of the verses that sustained them:

Romans 8:28 " And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

This verse and their testimony of trusting the Lord through trials has been a huge encouragement to me as I work through what it means to praise God & trust God while living with chronic pain.

Don't forget to watch the season premiere tomorrow of 19 Kids and Counting at 9/8c on TLC!

To purchase the Duggar's books:

Growing Home

Hip Homeschool Hop Button