image via commons.wikimedia.orgSpeaking of spurs (don't you love my transitions...he, he), it is amazing how many correlations can be made between my horse-training days and parenting. I was privileged to be able to train under a great horseman and the beauty of his techniques were quite extraordinary.
Have you ever heard of reining? It is a very precise, fine-tuned, intense style of riding, which I loved! Here is a little video if you want to see what it is like. We would train and train and train our horses to get them ready for shows. He didn't believe in yelling or jerking on the horses' mouths, but rather giving them clear commands, and then training them to respond to the slightest touch of the rein or shift in weight. Beautiful! It is one of the hardest things I've ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. Sound familiar (parenting)?
That is how I want to parent. I don't want to have to yell at my children (or even change my tone) or give them "a look" to have them respond to me. I want them to hear my voice and know that I will follow through with what I asked them. It requires much training, but I know the reward of hard work.
I can look back over my life thus far and see the fruit and growth of doing hard things. I heard through Tiffany B. some time ago about a conference they had attended for homeschooling on "Doing Hard Things". That concept has stuck with me. I don't know very much about them, but you can read more about the Greg Harris family online. One of his sons wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye and two others started The Rebelution; they sound like a pretty amazing family. I think the main idea is to have your kids do hard things and to do hard things as a family.
God give us diligence to do the hard things laid before us and to do them with great excellence!