Sometimes people look at our family and think we’ve got it made. By people, I mean those with little ones running around. Both of ours have graduated high school, started college, and they’re almost out of the house (cue the mixed emotions and sobs!). It’s true, we have freedom with older kids. Yes, we can do things now that we couldn’t do when they were younger.
Through grace, I’ve learned that the process of parenting, praying, and loving is a lifetime commitment. One that I wouldn’t trade for anything. We love our kids more than they’ll ever realize. I may be bias, but I think they’re pretty amazing. They’re not perfect. We’re not perfect. Yet we love each other regardless. Just as we should.
You would think parenting gets easier when they’re out of school and into the world. However, as long as we love them, it never really gets “easier”. The older they get, the more freedom and more choices they have.
The less time we have with them = the less influence we have over them.
Parenting and the love we have for our children reminds me of God’s love for all of us. We are His. He sent His one and only son so that we could be saved. Because He loved us. He designed and created us in such a way that we must CHOOSE to seek Him. We have free will. God only hopes that we choose to seek Him. For me personally, God knows there were many years that I didn’t seek Him. I’m so grateful that He was always there watching over me, waiting for me to return.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)
I believe the best thing I ever could’ve done for my kids is be under God’s influence. Choose to seek Him for myself. Allow Him to grow, strengthen, and shape me. Because if there is anything good in me, it’s all because of Him.
The more I choose to seek God daily = the more I allow Him to influence and grow me.
I don’t know if anyone needs to be encouraged, or if I’m just speaking to my own heart. God’s got this whole parenting thing. No matter if your babies are literally babies, terrible two’s, teens, or full on adults out of the house with their own kids. He’s got it. He’s got you. He’s got me. He’s got them.
Pray. Do lots of praying.
Laugh. Do lots of laughing.
Enjoy those precious moments when they pick you wildflowers, draw you pictures, sing you songs, or make something out of who knows what. Let them explore. Make a mess.
Or if you’re like me, maybe you’re the one making the mess! Have you ever just finished cleaning something and then turn around and do something that makes you ask yourself why!? I’m pretty clumsy, so I know this feeling all too well!
One time when the kids were little, I just cleaned the floors and was holding a glass jar full of red cherries. You know where this is going… somehow it slipped right out of my hand and the glass shattered into a million pieces, along with all the squishy cherries, and bright red cherry juice. There were sharp little daggers all over the crime scene of our white tile floors and kitchen cabinets. Pretty sure I flipped out, on top of trying to make sure the kids didn’t fall into my mommy mess. Maybe even cried. I’m a shame-less crier. The point is, life is full of little messes.
It’s full of big messes, too. But that is what God is for. Breathe deep. Lean in to Him. Give him your shattered and broken glass, broken heart, broken anything. He is the creator and fixer of all.
Live in the moments of joy and mess. Because in those moments we are refined. It’s all worth it.
Give and receive grace. Through your own cherry jar moments.
Now go listen to George Strait’s song, “Love Without End, Amen.” If you’ve never heard it, it’s a beautiful song basically about a father’s love for his boy, and God’s love for us.