Parenting-20th Anniversary Collector's Edition

So I've been stuck at home for the second four day stretch with my little people and its got me thinking. The first couple of snow days earlier this year were all fun and games. It was a nice little treat and we had some good family time and sat around playing games and eating stuff and just hanging out. I kept thinking, I really miss this "having the kids with me all day" kind of routine. By that Friday I was so ready to get out of the house it wasn't even funny. Then this week I didn't even play, we did school work, chores, naptime, etc. and I hated it. The kids' voices and requests just started nagging at me and I wanted to get AWAY FAST! I felt the irony of the whole thing, the sentimentality of the perfect scenario tricked me again. It reminded me of my early parenting years.

I came into the game early and made my assumptions and judgments of how my parenting style would be the most amazing thing ever to hit this universe. I would be the laid back, cool parent who had all her stuff together. No toting around an arsenal of kid relative materials in my bag. My children would learn to suck it up and drive on without all the bells and whistles. They would not completely alter my life patterns. Back then I had no clue what I was in for. Today I'm still parenting little people and I am not the same parent twenty years later. Here are a few things that I have learned:

1) "They're not little forever"-this can seem like a hopeful thought when they are pooping in their pants and crying all night, but it can also be a helpful reminder as well.

2) "You never stop being a parent"-no matter how big your baby gets he or she will always be your baby.

3) "When your child messes up they are not doing it to hurt you"-Remember this when they are teenagers.

4) "Parenting is not an obstacle course with a finish line"-Take it slow, it passes faster than you think.

5) "You're going to start calling your parents to say you're sorry more and more as you're children grow"-I never understood my mom's wisdom until I became the parent of a teen.

6) "They are tiny versions of you"-Your mannerisms, icky traits, idiosyncrasies, are all magnified in your children, it will be like looking into a scary mirror, therefore you'll be doing a lot of apologizing to God and your spouse as well.

7) "The detachment process is going to be harder than you think"-Remember the first day dropping them off at school? Imagine their first day of college or wedding day, it doesn't stop!

8) "You will want to kill people"-Sometimes it will be your spouse, sometimes it will be your child, or your child's teacher, or another child who has hurt your child, the list goes on...

Now I share these things to encourage you parents out there, not to discourage you! Parenting is one of the single most terrifying, challenging, nerve-wracking, wonderful, rewarding, life-changing experiences that you will embark upon. It is not for the faint of heart. It is a life long endeavor that is blessed by our Heavenly Father himself. You will learn more about yourself, your own parents, and your God than you ever dreamed, not to mention have the unique privilege to be a partner in shaping a future citizen of the kingdom. Take the job seriously, but don't take yourself seriously. Enjoy and don't over analyze. You get one chance, and one life, make sure and find joy in the journey!


Didn't See It Coming

Have you ever been surprised by a very bad turn of events? A bill that you never knew about that was in the final stages of collection? a car accident? a revelation of sin in a loved one's life? death? I think we can all relate to being caught off guard by something scary bad that seems to just jump on us from out of nowhere. There were no warning signs, no clues, just a suddenly.

What happens then? Our adrenaline is pumping, our anger rises up, we cry, we rant, we clean up, we prepare. Its a whole gambit of emotions that file through our minds and hearts. Then we start looking for somebody to blame, was it him, her, God? Did I do something that caused this? Could I have prevented it?

Then we go into prevention mode. That is not going to happen to me again... Really what we are doing is living in fear and it paralyzes us. We cannot help ourselves when we remember the pain, but we can keep ourselves from remaining there. God has all things in His hands and its very important for us to keep that in perspective when we look back over the events of our life.

Psalm 91

You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
    spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
    I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
    shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
    under them you’re perfectly safe;
    his arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,
    not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,
    not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,
    drop like flies right and left,
    no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance,
    watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge,
    the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,
    harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered his angels
    to guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
    their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,
    and kick young lions and serpents from the path.
14-16 “If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
    “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
    I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
    give you a long drink of salvation!”
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