Looking for Glimmers When Parenting Is Hard

Looking for Glimmers When Parenting Is Hard May 18, 2024

Gimmers help us see our children how God sees them. | Photo by Josh Willenk from Pexels.com.

Did you know that the opposite of a trigger is a glimmer? As a mama to 5, I am well aware of what a trigger is and can often stew in them, despite my better judgment. Yet, I don’t always recognize or spend time enjoying the glimmers. These glimmers have the power to fix my eye on Jesus and my children in a more biblical way. Glimmers can also remind me of the joy of parenting even when parenting is challenging.

What Is A Glimmer?

According to Wesley Gallagher of Bournewood Health Systems, a glimmer is a “small moment that makes us feel a sense of calm, connection, peace, and safety. They are the little things we notice that instantly elevate our mood, even when we are feeling down or are in the midst of a bad day.”

Glimmer is a mental health term that represents the opposite of a trigger. While triggers send us toward our broken, sinful worst behavior, a glimmer can help us remember God, His character, His presence, His peace, and His power in our lives.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 NLT

We could almost say Philippians is asking us to fix our thoughts on glimmers.

Triggers and Glimmers in Parenting

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3 NLT

When we see our children the way God sees them, I believe our children have the potential to be glimmers. 

Yet, as parents, we often see our children through their behaviors and this perspective can set those triggers off. More often than not, our big upsets, frustrations, and triggers in parenting are about us, not our children. 

If you want to read more on adjusting our parenting perspectives, check out last week’s post: A Lesson for Parents from King Asa.

How to Find a Glimmer

For me, the best way I have found to shift my focus from the triggers to the glimmers is Scripture. The more Scripture is in your heart and mind, the more the Holy Spirit can use it to guide, correct, and comfort you.

But if you don’t have many verses memorized, that’s ok. Start with one verse. For glimmers, the verse the Holy Spirit most often uses with me is Zephaniah 3:17. 

For the Lord your God is living among you.

    He is a mighty savior.

He will take delight in you with gladness.

    With his love, he will calm all your fears.

    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Zephaniah 3:17 NLT

You can pray and ask God to point you to your glimmer verse. He will be faithful in revealing it to you.

Your Glimmer Challenge

Over the next week or so, I want to challenge you to look for the glimmers in your parenting. What moments help you to feel joy, safety, and connection? When you recognize a moment, sit with it. Fix your thoughts on it. Record it. Praise God for it. 

Do those things that you need to do to fully experience that moment of God’s goodness. Then, as you begin to recognize them and sit with them, you will experience them more and more. 

About Joy Wendling, MA
Enthusiastic. Passionate. Profound. Joy Wendling is a family pastor, writer, speaker, podcaster, certified parent coach, and founder of Created to Play. She has over 20 years of experience in children, youth, and family ministry, as well as a Master’s in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary. She also is certified in Connected Families Parent Coaching and Parenting for Faith. Her idea of relaxing is gazing at the mountains from her island home with an ice-cold Diet Coke and a good book. Joy lives in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys laughing and playing with her five daughters and husband. Get to know her better at CreatedtoPlay.com and on her podcast titled Playfully Faithful Parenting. You can read more about the author here.

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