Glory Unfurling

"God made our children strong-willed, so that once they put their faith in Him and submit to His will, they will not be detoured. Those iron wills will not fail. Strong-willed children were designed to cling tenaciously to the strongest will of all...the will of God." -Wendy Speake, Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions For Gentle Biblical Responses



Mother's Day 2017

Today was a hard parenting day. Hard, hard, hard. I wish I could say that we handled it well, with grace and wisdom, but in reality, we stumbled through, grasping for peace. From sun up to sun down, we struggled, apologized, started over, apologized again. We asked, why is he so hard? Where did we go wrong? Most importantly, when can we put him to bed? There were certainly physical factors (field day yesterday, then woken up by brother at 6 a.m.) and emotional factors (school almost ending, doesn't handle transitions well). But what we know is this: strong-willed kids grow into strong-willed adults. And so I turned to Behn and said, 'One day this tenacity is going to serve him well. But today, it's a pain in the butt." We are exhausted from years of too little sleep, too much noise, and perhaps not enough encouragement.

There are so many voices. We have been asked, 'do you spank enough?' and told, 'spanking is the wrong response.' We have been told to make sure we establish authority asap, so he knows who's in charge. We have been told to extend grace. This on top of vaccine, schooling, food, screen time, and a million other debates...it's crushing. This world is loud. I'm tired of loud.

And while I wish there was a secret formula to parenting, there isn't. Even though we were raised in lovely Christian homes by amazing parents, there's just no real way to prepare for this. One day at a time, we pray.  One day at a time, (usually...let's not paint that I'm a saint here) I drink in God's Word. I tune into Christian podcasts and read spiritual books to fill my mind. One day at a time, I fail and realize my need for Christ. And my kids' need.

There's always good news. The good news is, "And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." -Philippians 1:6. I truly believe that God has a great plan for these kids, each designed uniquely. I pray that we have the wisdom and faithfulness to keep pouring into them. We take our responsibility seriously, but ultimately God will bring the growth, the flourishing. We are the tools. And in the course, the struggle, the race, we are also formed into His likeness. We are humbled and made to serve, like it or not. It's for our good as we are transformed. We will be stronger and wiser and humbler and kinder and more Christ-like because these long parenting days. (After all, he's my Bart).

It's easy to post about all the good. That he recites Bible verses to his public school teacher, that he loves his brothers immensely, that he asks, quietly, "Mom, will you pray for me?" But the hard days count, too. Those are the days where the grit is required, that we may not want to share with the world because we wonder if we're really failing at all of this.

The flowers in my garden are about to bloom. The hydrangeas, the day lilies, the hosta, and the daisies. All about to unfurl into their glory. I can't make it happen, I can only tend to them and wait. It's cliche, but parenting really is like gardening. Water, weed, and wait. Wait for the glory.



Comments

  1. Love this post. Also, the parenting as a garden metaphor reminded me of a Bethany Dillon song called "You're the best song"

    "every prayer for you is like a seed in the ground
    every tear I cry is like rain
    In its due season I pray a harvest will be found
    your heart and mouth confessing Jesus' name"

    Just the fact that you consider all these things shows what a caring mother you are. I'm already dreading all the parenting conversations in America, ha. Looking forward to seeing you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Jess! I'll make sure I listen to that song. Can't wait for you guys to be in the US!

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