Friday, April 15, 2011
Growing Children and Ourselves
“Mommy, I can do it all by myself!” I sighed as I allowed my strong willed ,three year old daughter finish the task that I tried helping her with. More and more, I keep hearing her declare her independence. It takes me back to my 18 year old who was just like her. People tried telling me how quickly the time goes by. Now that I am facing my oldest child's graduation next month, I am seeing it first hand. So, I am trying to savor these moments as much as I can. Although, I know it is part of her maturing stage, I still can’t help but wonder what lies ahead in her need to be independent. Trust me, I know the drill as I have raised one daughter already. I am currently in the middle of raising another pre-teen and two toddlers following close behind. Taking a deep breath, I say a quiet prayer asking God to give me the strength to help shape my precious Diva in the making, without losing my mind in the process. I kiss her gently and say, “Go for it, girlie!” Do I have the strength? Will I make mistakes like I did with my oldest daughter? Will all my children become the Godly men and women they were purposed to be? The answer to all those questions is –yes, yes, yes! The answer is yes because God is in control and not me—thank god.
After being a parent for almost 19 years now, I’ve learned a thing or two about the subject, myself and God. First of all, I don’t have all the answers! So, there won’t be another well meaning parent book out there to buy. Thank God, huh?( I have enough of those to parent all the nations and then some!) Mistakes are part of the growing process for parents and children. In fact, my children have taught me more about myself than any one person I know. Let’s just say they are raising their mother well! Secondly, God created each one of my kids with a purpose . As their mother, it is up to me to help them find it and encourage them in it. Sometimes as a parent letting them be who they are is hard. We tend to have expectations for our children but I’ve learned the hard way, God’s plan for them is the best one out there! The sooner I submit my parenting to His parenting, the easier it is for all of us. Thirdly, my children will become who God created them to be one way or another. There may be bumps in the road and it may take longer than anticipated, but God is faithful in His parenting even when I am not. His promises over them will not come back null and void—the Word is in them, right? I’ve learned to lean on Him to fill in the gaps of grace, love, mercy and wisdom.
Trusting God with our children is a daily struggle. However, it has been one that has allowed me to see God in new ways, building my own faith along the way. There are so many unknowns out there and so many questions I still have when it comes to parenting. I don’t always get the answer right away which leads me waiting patiently for God to answer when He knows I am ready to hear it!-lol
Parenting my children's heart is my goal these days. When I choose to do this first, I find that everything else falls into place. Placing the values of God upon their hearts and minds ,naturally shape our children into who they need to be in this world. However, that doesn’t mean that it will happen overnight—patience and persistence are key! I will admit, I don’t have all the details worked out, but I know the One who does. It takes faith to raise a child-great faith! Psalm 103:17-18 says, “ But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s Children-with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey his precepts. “ I can’t help but smile and be comforted when I read that promise. As long as I commit to teach my children about God’s love and faithfulness, all that is good is passed down through the generations. Even if at times it appears otherwise. Faith is the substance of things not seen but yet hoped for, right? So, if today I have a three year old , rebellious daughter who decides to be the next great Van Gogh by painting a whole container of yogurt to express her creative side( she did this while I wrote this blog-how fitting!) or a back talking eleven year old, who demands that doing laundry is child slavery and should be punishable by law, it is all good, right? One can only hope and I choose to put that hope in the Lord today!
Where is your hope today when it comes to your children? Do you trust God with their faith and lives? If not, begin today by knowing that the love of a thousand generations for God began with one parent teaching it!