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Mom, Take the Time to REFINE. The Five R's of Intentional Parenting. Blog & Podcast

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN to Episode 68: Mom, Take the Time to REFINE... The 5 R's of Intentional Parenting.

I've got bad news and good news for your new year.

THE BAD NEWS: You’re going to make some more mistakes. You’re not going to always say the right thing or identify every struggle accurately in your kids. You’re going to have lots of decisions to make and you’re not always going to make the right ones. You’re probably even going to cause some wounds on your children’s hearts that will require regret and uncomfortable mending.

THE GOOD NEWS: None of us is a perfect mom and there is HOPE for each of us because we serve a capable LOVING, FORGIVING, GRACE-GIVING, REDEEMING God! *He FILLS IN THE GAPS of our inadequacy. *He INTERCEDES in miraculous ways in our needs. *And He REDEEMS our messes. We serve a God who is a redeemer! He doesn’t just redeem our souls from an eternity without Him, although that is a great gift! He redeems our MOMENTS. Not by erasing our mistakes but by reshaping our scars into something meaningful, IF we’re willing to face our messes and clean them up.

Somewhere around ten New Years’ ago, I began a personal mom tradition - taking some time alone to practice something I’ve come to call the Five R’s of Intentional Parenting: Reflect, Regret, Repent, Redeem, Refine. I would love it if you joined me in this practice!

Steps to the Five R’s of Being an Intentional Mistaking Parent


Begin by Reflecting on the past year (or semester because we moms often think in semesters). Here’s some questions to help you begin this beneficial time of reflection:

❓What are some things that went great or is going well in our family?

❓What needs a little tweak of refinement because it’s not quite right but is on the right track?

❓What were big fails or is really not going well right now?

❓Where do I see relationship "walls" that a family member has put up? Or, what other signs of potentially troubled hearts do I see in our home?

(The hearts of your family are the most important things of all focus on for your time of reflection. Linger here the longest.)

Relationships always need to take priority over academics, sports, a sparkling clean house, or whatever else might be tugging at your attention.

I am not saying that health doesn’t matter, or academics don’t matter or that sports are insignificant. I just see heart & soul health as the only aspects of our lives that is eternal, so I give it special consideration.

We were created for relationship, for loving, and caring, and sharpening, and serving one another.

When I am REFLECTING on the past year or semester, in those moments of prayerful reflection on how the relationships in our home are going, God begins to show me some trouble-spots. I don't think He would show me, if I wasn't seeking to find them.


Next, it is time to figure out the source of the trouble.

Is it a son’s lack of humility,

or a daughter’s hot temper,

or is it possible that some blame lands squarely on ME?

Most likely, it is a mix of multiple root issues. In other words, it's usually MOST OF US that need some work. But isn't that the way life is - it is stepping stones of growth throughout a lifetime. In many podcast episodes and blog posts I address ways to help our kids grow in character. Today, though, we're focusing on us - the intentional mom in the house. (Raising my hand way up on this one, cause I am definitely a work in progress).

I do some reflecting on the troubled areas and ask if I caused some heart wounds or if I set a bad example in my attitude or have a poor habit in conflict resolution… You get the idea. This is when I ask God to show me any areas that I may be off-course or hindering their strength, or growth, or hindering my relationship with them.

When He points something out to my spirit, I linger there and take a close-up view.

That close-up view is going to lead to some REGRET.

Now I know that doesn’t sound like a positive word, but it actually IS!


I’ve learned to stay in this REGRET step for a bit - to go ahead and live in the pain on purpose for a little while, letting reality sting. I don’t want to avoid the important role of regret. It is like a refiner’s fire of my character. It sears into my heart the importance of not remaining the way I am, of sincerely apologizing where needed, seeking to mend however I can, and being passionate about pursuing God’s help in growing in that area. There is healing in the refiner’s fire of regret. Don’t skip it, don’t undervalue it, but also don’t build a summer home in regret. It’s a temporary stop in your journey to refinement.

Stay at the regret spot as long as is necessary for it to do the work it needs to do. Then it is time to move on to REPENT.


Repentance is a time of TURNING, turning away from my old ways and pivoting to a better way. It’s admitting that my way wasn’t working and acknowledging that God’s ways are always best. Repentance is a wonderful cleansing of my heart by God while making room for a fresh start. Fresh starts are so FREEING and HOPE-GIVING!