Monday, April 30, 2012

Snapshots of love and motherhood

 I've had a really, really good day with my children.  Jubilee's birth really changed me. Her birth (and events after) gave me a huge amount of patience, maybe because, after all of that, everything else seems like no big deal.  It's an amazing gift because, um, yeah- I really struggled with patience prior to her birth. That's been one of my long-standing prayers: Lord, grant me patience!

I've come to really enjoy the moments, even the moments which would normally grate on my nerves.  I guess you could say that I've come to accept the chaos and even appreciate it.  It's definitely not that my household is calm and serene, that's for sure! I feel like, and this is going to sound weird (because it sounds weird to me) that I just see the beauty in everything now. My heart is almost always overflowing with joy. I can't explain it, but life is so precious.  God keeps using my daughters in miraculous ways to concrete that within me. I see the gifts now, the blessings big and small.  Over the years, God has changed my perspective on so many things— money, marriage, motherhood— and He continues to teach and grow me in ways that, yes, can be painful but are so worth it.

We must have worn her out yesterday! She's been a snoozy baby today!! #miracle #babynumberfive #family #love #sixweeksold #daughter #newborn #baby #sunshine
I believe we learn far more from the process of raising children than our children learn from us.  Children have a way of mirroring our flaws— showing us where we are most vulnerable—and God desires to use our children to bring to light our weaknesses so we can be mended.  I know I spend a lot of time examining myself, beating myself up for the shoulda coulda wouldas of motherhood. It's hard not to because I see my shortcomings so clearly.  My faults seem to glare back at me when I look in the figurative mirror. I have to remind myself that God is in the process of perfecting me, refining me.  I don't have to beat myself up, I just need to surrender it all to Him, knowing He's working it out.  I just keep praying for God to ice over those shortcomings with a thick layer of grace (for my children's sake)!

Thing is, Evangeline doesn't go to bed thinking about all her mistakes and bloopers.  She goes to sleep safe and secure in the love of her parents and wakes knowing we'll be there to hug and kiss on her, nourish and guide her, play and love on her. Maybe that's why the bible tells us to be as little children.  She doesn't ever doubt that we love her.  Whenever she's hurt or sad, she runs to us.  Whenever she's happy, she seeks us out to share her smile.  Child-like faith and trust.

Children are amazing. I mean, they are so trusting and so forgiving.  There have been times when I've had to sit down with the kids and say, "Look, I failed you. I made some mistakes. I'm sorry, and I'm going to do things differently."  Sometimes we've had to make rule changes because we have realized our approach was all wrong, or we were allowing something we shouldn't.  Sometimes we've had to apologize for being short with a child or breaking a promise.  I hope by being honest with them, they'll learn it's okay to admit you were wrong, that apologies(repentance) are important and healing, and everyone makes mistakes.

#son #mother #motherhood #family 

Each of my children are different and unique.  It's not always easy pouring my life into theirs; it's exhausting, to be honest.  Motherhood is not for sissies, that's for sure! As soon as I get one part of parenting figured out, the critters enter another phase that seems like foreign territory to me. I don't have many families I can look to and say, "Yep, that's how I want to parent," or "That's what I desire for my family."  I'm so glad Brandon and I don't have to go it alone though.  The Lord has been good to guide us through this journey!

Have you read The Pouring Out or my other blog, The Fighting Faith?


ChatCat57 said...

So true, so true, so true! Not one thought hasn't been mine! (we might be related!) And I see so much of your dad, and his softness of heart, if he thought he had failed or made a mistake. I ACTUALLY wanted to know when I was doing something that wasn't fair in yalls eyes. Because sometimes, it was hard to let go. At 16, Chip came and, with respect, asked if we could talk about the rules of things since he was older! :) I had to admit, a couple of things could be made a bit better. You came with thoughts, and some were so hard to deal with. Why could you not be out late when you were of age....that one was the hardest. But you understood, tho unfair, it was a safty issue. Each of you so unique. Having to talk with him in a different way, and different position. You, face to face, him, side by side. Someday, one will say "you treat them nicer than you treat me". And you won't make much sense to them when you try to esplain. Chip said the other day, "I'm glad I had a praying mother." Children have no idea how many hours are spent, interceeding. For each child. For each uniqueness and the ability to understand it for good. Children think their parents don't understand them, but actually, they understand much more than they realize. It's just that being a parent, you can see the other side of the fence, the consequences, that might go with their intentions. You wanted drums so bad. It was so hard not to let you have drums. But where those drums would take you at that poing in your life, wasn't good. And yes, so many things are learned about our relationship with our Father, because our children teach us that. We learn such deep love for a person that we would die for them. I can't immage our life and how shallow it could have been, how judgemtnal we could have been, and how "stuck" in our thoughts we may have stayed. And how much God was ablee to train us up to be His children. Our grandchildren are a joy, and we keep on learning. I want to earn their respect and love because of my Spirit of love and interest in teir lives. I want them to undetstand that my love is so deep, even tho Nana can't do what many can. I love their smell, thier kisses, their hugs, their confidential talks... You are a great mother, (and Brandon a great father). Your children are very fortunate for all you do, and someday, they will really know. I never knew that love could be so deep - until I had children of my own. And the love gets deeper until "death do us part". Each parent tries not to make the mistakes of their own parents, but then, they end up making mistakes of their own. I found that out, yet love never left. I think you do what I always tried to do, and that is - to think before you speak, as it's something a child will remember. Forgive me for that ability to become very hard, after the accident. You are a wonderful role model ! And, by the way...I'm not biased either! :) My love, Mom

Melissa said...

This is such a wonderful post, and I really enjoyed reading it! I would like to thank you so much for being someone I can (and do!) look to for encouragement! You are definitely that person for me, and I can't thank you enough for that! Ps-you betcha I read your other blogs!

amy D said...

I love this so much! And just so that you know, from the little I know of you on this blog, I look up to you and your husband with how you raise your kids! :)