Saturday, September 20, 2008

PARENTING...what a task

What a huge responsibility God gives us, Privileges us? Hmmm...before I get sidetracked--is that the right way to say that? Well, I don't want to say what a huge responsibility God bestows us the privilege of--to raise children? OK, I think it's clear what I am trying to say. It's A LOT of pressure, a lot of catching my breath when I think about this big task. Parenting is this vast landscape that I can't quite see the end of. The length of this big field that I am looking at and wondering how am I ever going to get to the other side. I have so much to learn. Take for instance this. My oldest son is now eight and he is entering that phase of not wanting to be cuddled and he doesn't want me to talk to him like he's a little kid any more. Tonight, joking around I grabbed him and held him and started to tell him about this song (OK, truth be told, I actually sang this song) I used to sing to him that I made up all about loving my baby boy. He was hardly amused nor impressed. I would normally do this--hardly ever, but on occasion and we would end up just cracking up. Later, he even remarked about not wanting to be sung to like a baby. Oh, my heart! This is a kid who has always said, "tell me that story..."

But, it's not about me.

What a lesson I am learning. Parenting is not about if it makes me feel good to have this precious moments with my child. It's not about if they're happy either. That's a hard one for me, because I am so easily manipulated by my boys' whines and their running their fingers through my hair and looking at me with loving eyes and saying, "please mommy?"
The baby (my two year old) is even trying to giggle his way through time-outs, but I push forward with a stern look hiding that I am giggling inside too.
Uh, OK, so some things are less difficult than others.

I am just so thankful for the wisdom from the Holy Spirit--reminding me what I've read in scripture. So thankful that I can pray to a God who is listening. I didn't intend to share this, but I just looked up and noticed something on my desk. I have a prayer that I printed up/laminated that is a perfect prayer about parenting and something I need to pray, probably daily. It's from John Piper. I'm typing it up so forgive any typos please:

"Dear Lord,
There is no higher calling than being a wife and mom. You have entrusted these precious lives to our care and what we impart to them while they are with us, is our offering to you. You have not called us to be 'cool', to be liked, or to make our children happy. You have given us the responsibility to shepherd their souls. If they are great in sports, academics or worldy success, but do not know YOU, we will have failed. Help us to live what we proclaim, to be strong enough to discipline consistently when we are weary, to lavish them with love (as You do to us), to be quick to forgive and to admit when we are wrong. Help us to continue to grow in our love for the Savior and for Your word so that we can live an example that will draw them to salvation. We will never be perfect but we can be faithful and that's all that you ask. Please bless each one reading this and encourage their hearts with knowing that You have the power, ability and desire to see them succeed in this endeavor. May they raise up a generation of young adults with a heartfelt passion to serve You, and then know that they will hear ;well done, good and faithful servant.' Amen"


Tonya said...

love your thoughts and tenderness...

my heart goes out to you...and all is a tough job...I am trying to just enjoy them and keep working my hardest!

have a great night...

sara's art house said...

Thanks for the encouragement!!!! I love how you said it is not about us, and it is not about making them happy. I totally fall into the trap of wanting happy kids- but we need to train them and not worry if life is always fun for them.

Keep up the good work!

Fifi said...

That prayer made me tearful. Thank you for reminding me of my calling as a parent and the responsibility of nurturing their souls!
I'm printing it out now.

Fifi said...

I used this prayer in a post I've just written...... and I mentioned you! Hope you don't mind?

ByHISgoodGRACE said...

Of course I don't mind!
I'm glad it blessed you. I prayed that prayer this morning before we started school and should do so more really describes how we ought to shepherd our children so well.

Beth said...

I love what you are writing about.

Guess What!? You have been tagged. Come on over and find out what it's all about.