Sally Forth was a comic I always loved. In fact, the last time I read the Sunday comics I took a picture of Sally Forth and sent it to Brent.
But the point is, somewhere along the way I learned that to sally forth means to attack from a defensive position. It’s funny to me that when something is pressing on my mind, I get information on it from every direction.
What’s pressing on my mind? Yelling. Not just the kids yelling, my yelling. Well, to be honest, it’s mostly my yelling. I am tired of only being listened to if I raise my voice. I know there’s a better way, but I’m having a hard time breaking the habit, or making the transition to that better way.
I was able to visit my family in Colorado and attend my brother’s wedding. It was such a blissful experience. I only had baby Ben with me and so I was in perpetual grown up land with my parents and grandparents, I even was able to visit a long time friend who recently moved to Colorado Springs. She and I were able to chat away happily while her four children (and two neighborhood friends) played. We were occasionally called on to assist with disagreements or frustrations. My friend handled it all with such grace and calmness. I was truly inspired!
In response to our conversations, she emailed me an article she’d read where the author tells of her transformation from yelling mom to calm mom. Here’s the article, Losing my temper: Utah’s Young Mother of the Year confesses all; it’s worth the read! I loved this quote from the article:
I wanted to be kinder, calmer and less scary. At the moment of decision, I wanted to make the right choice, not the angry one. I was deeply shamed.
Change takes time. I broke my resolve more times than I can count. But I kept praying, practicing calmness and kindness. And I changed.
Already feeling very encouraged by this article and motivation to keep praying, practicing calmness and kindness, I came upon another nugget to add to my resource treasure chest. Because these encouraging stories, practical skills and amazing friends are gems I lovingly keep in a treasure chest, safe and easily accessible so I can return to their beauty and inspiration again and again. This nugget was a Hangout chat from Mom It Forward about creating a Super Hero Family. It’s about an hour, but a great listen while you do dishes or fold laundry!
So what does this have to do with Sally Forth? With the comic I shared above, very little. But with the idea of attacking from a defensive position, everything! I stand in our home defending our family from many things, but the most pressing thing I am defending my little ones from right now, is my temper. As a result, I need to attack that temper and remove it from our home, from me. So while I defend our family, I am in a battle with myself to change. It’s not an easily fought battle, but one whose outcome will have lasting effects.
The use of family mission statements to create a compass, a road map of how our family will achieve what we dream of really resonates with me. Not only a family mission statement, but a personal mission statement where I can include my vision for who I am, who I want to be, for my family. This family mission statement sets the bar for behavior. It gives us a defensive place from which to attack the things we want to change. A place to come back to in order to evaluate our progress and to move forward again.