Friday, November 20, 2015

gung-ho mama

There's a certain type of person who loves to start things...but not finish. Cast a vision...and then lose sight of it. Come up with wonderful ideas...and rarely act upon them.

I'm that kind of person.

I love new ventures, but sticking them out is hard for me to do. My first month of being a stay-at-home-mom was amazing: we almost never watched TV because there were puzzles to put together, music to dance to, neighborhoods to explore, and stories to read.

But then came the second month, the third. Before I knew it, stay-at-home-me was so bored of staying at home.

So of course, I threw the kids the iPad and got lost in social media.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

I read once that we don't get to pick and choose when we get to be parents. We are always parents.

When Madeline has thrown up for the sixth time in a row.
When Titus needs to cuddle at 2am...3am...4am...5am...
When the kids have turned the entire bathroom into a bathtub.
When I'm exhausted and cranky and haven't had time to myself and losing my mind and patience--

I am still a parent.

And that means I've got responsibilities. That means those little lives I brought into existence are still under my stewardship, even when I've got nothing left to give.

Knowing that sometimes makes me want to cry, because goodness do I know: it gets hard.

God has promised to us an abundance of grace. Let us take that grace, cling to it, and even in the most difficult of days, fight to be parents who invest in their kids without constraint. The kind of parents who intentionally give their kids undivided attention, enjoying the silly and messy and hard, so that when they look back one day, they'll be grateful for embracing the chaos.

Let us cultivate an understanding of who our children are as individuals, one that makes room for their unique identities in God as they grow.

This means we're face-to-face and hand-in-hand with our kids, establishing a family rhythm of open and honest dialog: from us to them and from them to us.

This means we see them as important contributors to our families and therefore seek and value their input.

This means we are available and accessible as much as possible to guide our children in the way they should go.

When we invest in our kids without constraint, we realize their one-of-a-kind identity and give all we can give to ensure their maturity as children of God.

We have the hardest job around, Moms and Dads. But we do not labor in vain.