00:15 Sonja: So, thank you Delene for coming and sitting here today and sharing with us, what have you got? Can you tell us about your family and what you’ve got to share today.

00:22 Delene: Yes, I have three children which we home educate. We have pretty much never really been at school, and we have a son of 13 and then 11 and then a little girl of nine, she just turned nine. And I think in the busyness of the growing up years, those really the in the trenches years when they were little, and I was learning about being a mom, I remember just being very, very impatient. Very impatient. And quite quick to shout at them and just lose my temper, and I didn’t have a very good model from growing up myself and so I remember doing…

01:09 Sonja: So you thought that’s what moms do?

01:11 Delene: Yeah. That’s what moms do.

01:12 Sonja: You shout at your children.

01:12 Delene: We shout at children. Yeah, it’s terrible.

01:16 Sonja: It’s sad, hey.

01:17 Delene: But also being a Christian before I got married and having children, now I knew there was God’s way and I needed to learn that. And so, there came the multitude of books to be read and things to listen to and taught and learned and gobbled up as much as I could. And I remember reading about smiling at your children. As they walk into the room, smile at them. Even if you…

01:43 Sonja: And you have such a lovely smile.

01:44 Delene: Even if you don’t feel like smiling at them, ’cause you can con yourself into smiling.

[laughter]

01:51 Sonja: It’s not quite as genuine though.

01:52 Delene: No, but you start.

01:53 Sonja: It’s a start. Practice it. Practice smiling.

01:56 Delene: You just start. You start practicing smiling. So, I would start doing it. I would start practice smiling when they would come into the room.

[laughter]

02:06 Delene: And eventually, it started becoming far more natural. I mean I did smile at them, but there were times when I was now cross and upset, and then there would be no smiling. And so, yeah, practicing how to smile at them. But that didn’t really do much to the impatience and losing your temper at them.

02:26 Sonja: So your heart wasn’t smiling, only your mouth?

02:27 Delene: Yeah, yeah, pretty much.

[laughter]

02:29 Delene: And I really felt God gave me a strategy on how to handle that. I started calling them by names, not their normal name, but makeup names.

02:45 Sonja: Like sweetie pie or something?

02:46 Delene: Like sweetie pie or my gorgeous and I found that was a key for me.

02:53 Sonja: Sure.

02:54 Delene: I don’t often call them by their names, but so, they’ll walk in the room, I go, “Oh, hello, my gorgeous! And it just a way to my own heart.

03:02 Sonja: Sure.

03:03 Delene: Just a way to my own heart. And I must say…

03:06 Sonja: So now, your heart and your face was smiling.

03:07 Delene: Yeah. Absolutely. And I must say, I have grown in patience. So when people say to me, “I have no patience to have my children at home all day,” I’m like, “No, you don’t, but actually God can do something in you.” Because I do have way more patience than I did before. I am not as quick to fly off the handle, and they’re a joy to have around, they really are. And it’s genuine, it’s not a put-on. It’s genuine. And that’s what I felt to share, that how God did something in my own heart.

03:38 Sonja: That is such a treasure. ‘Cause I mean, you’re not alone, all of us lack patience that we want, but all of us that know God and have Him, have an abundance of patience. What we have to do is rely on Him, go, well I’m short on patience here Lord, could you just take over. And then you experience His patience, which is so in abundance. Much more than we ever need in ourselves. We think we need patience, I need to be patient, but then He gives so much more than we even need. And the fact as well, the joy, the joy you speak of. Because His Word tells us that His joy is our strength. If you’re not having joy, and as you say, flying off the handle or being impatient or being intolerant or angry or whatever, joy is gone. Without joy there’s no strength, now how are you going to continue in your day? Grumpy.

04:24 Delene: Right, you can’t. You just give up.

[laughter]

04:26 Sonja: Yeah. It just go badly. And so, there you have the fruit of that is not pleasant, the fruit of being grumpy and that’s what the Word says as well, whereas the fruit of joy is strength and peace. So now what you’ve shared with us is a wonderful treasure from down in the valley. ‘Cause I think you were down in the valley where you found that treasure?

[laughter]

04:47 Delene: Oh, yes. And so there’s far more laughing, far more joy, far more quick to make a joke or… If I add those, Oh my boy, I try not to use their name, I found that was definitely the key, not to use the… It was definitely something, a made up name.

05:10 Sonja: To give demonstrative terms to them.

05:14 Delene: Yes, yes. And it definitely did something in my own heart. Unlocked something that needed to be unlocked.

05:20 Sonja: Well, I think this is a treasure for moms, for a lot of moms. If there’s… Some moms out there that are feeling like they are impatient or quick tempered, they should try your smiling.

[laughter]

05:31 Delene: Practicing smiling.

05:32 Sonja: Practice smiling. And then go from there to, from the face to the heart, use the demonstrative terms for the children… I mean just think how many happy households there can be, joy in the household instead of moms being angry. I mean, I know we’ve spoken about this a lot at retreats, where moms say, I’m not sure that I’m the best for my child, because I actually get angry, and I’m impatient and so, I’m just not the best. You say you’ve heard the same. And I take a little bit on a different take, [laughter] and I don’t really say, well, let’s wait for you to grow in patience. I would rather say to them well, you know, it’s not just forbidden. [laughter] It’s forbidden. In our household, we have so many forbiddens. You’re not allowed to shout, that was forbidden when I was growing up. There just was no shouting in our home, ’cause it was forbidden. And so, if somebody shouted, it was, that’s forbidden. Outside, there’s no shouting in this house. If you need to shout to get something off your lungs, you can go and do it in the tree in the garden. Go climb the tree and shout to your heart’s content, but no inside this home. That was my mother, it was forbidden. And so we have spoken about this at retreats about having quick… Mom’s been concerned about their quick tempers, whatever, I just say, why don’t you make it forbidden? They say, well, they can’t because then they won’t be able to.

[overlapping conversation]

[laughter]

06:51 Sonja: But then you repent and then you go, sorry Lord you don’t allow us to shout at one another, you have said it in you word to not provoke one another to anger. You’ve said, do not argue with one another and now here we are arguing. I’m sorry, Lord, please forgive me. I have yet to gain… My flesh is weak, but you are strong. And then you are calling on God, you’re speaking to him, you’re teaching your children how to communicate with God. You’re relying on him, you’re showing them that you’re not perfect, you’re never gonna be. I’ve told my children all the time, I’m never gonna be perfect, I’m never gonna be the everything you need, but he is. He is today, he will always be, he will not forsake you, but man fails. We fail, and we say mom’s feeling guilty about failing. We’ll get used to it, because you will always don’t feel like you have reached what you want to be, the wife and the mother, and the daughter and the friend and everything else. You will always feel like you’re slipping up somewhere, because our flesh is weak, but if we’re being cross to people, why even bother with ourselves? Why not just let him, why not let it be his joy? You start by just being obedient.

07:58 Sonja: Okay, I’m going to smile, I’m not gonna be angry, ’cause you don’t want me to be Lord. I’m not gonna be angry Lord, I’m gonna smile at my children. You just been obedient to him, and then he helps you. Is he helping you when you’re shouting and screaming?

[laughter]

08:11 Delene: No.

08:13 Sonja: It’s like, stop that now and you’re not listening because you too busy shouting, so you can’t hear, so you stop, be quiet. He says, be still and know that I am God. He doesn’t say, “Yell, to hear me, you need to shout really loudly to get my attention.” He doesn’t say that. He says be still. And so now why don’t we teach our children to be still as well, so that they can hear from God. And when we’re talking to them, if we’re shouting at them, they’re thinking that that’s…

08:44 Delene: The norm.

08:44 Sonja: That’s the norm. They’re thinking that’s how people get heard, is when they shout at each other. I can’t bear it when I see these things on television, where the young people, whatever the program might be, they shout at each other, and they shout at the parents and they shout at… You know these programs, family programs, whatever, it’s awful, that seems to be the norm. It’s okay, that’s just how it is, that’s just society. Well, that’s not God’s way. God says be still and know that I am God. So what you’re saying is you’ve been home educating from when they were born, they’ve never been in school and you’re a home educating mom, and one thing that you’ve had to learn is to smile at your childrens, not shout. And if you do shout and it’ll be ’cause it’s a bad day, you can repent. And go…

09:25 Delene: Absolutely, [laughter] I’ll do that.

[laughter]

09:27 Sonja: Yeah. And the less you do the more joy, the more strength the more peace, the more, all the things that God wants to bless us with. This is the other thing and I just think he’s so longing to bless all of us abundantly. He says I want your households to be overflowing with his blessings and his goodness. He’s longing to bless us, but we’re not giving him a chance, ’cause we’re busy shouting or being impatient. If we stop and say, could you be patient on my behalf here, ’cause I am failing, then he’s blessing us with his patience. And then we’re experiencing the blessing.

09:57 Delene: Absolutely.

09:58 Sonja: And it’s never ending. He doesn’t stop blessing us. He doesn’t say, well, enough blessings for you now.

[laughter]

10:04 Delene: That’s enough.

[laughter]

10:05 Sonja: That’s enough. He just keeps bringing on the blessings. It’s fantastic. Thank you so much for that, I’m so excited about all those children out there that are gonna have smiling mommies.

[laughter]

10:17 Sonja: How much better than shouting mommies. So much better. Thank you so much.