Friday, January 30, 2009

For terrible parents only...

Ever had those moments where you realize you've heard the same message over and over from different sources, on different days in different ways and it all of the sudden knocks you on your butt when you go " were talking to me?"
Just had one....
Like to hear about it? Here it go!
I'm just not good at this parenting thing....don't argue with me here, I know better than anyone.
I found myself this morning coming to God again to confess my impatience, shortness and anger toward Lincoln and Eloise. I prayed "God, don't I say this every morning?" and I do. Truly.
I'd love to be done with it, and not be saying it anymore....but it's never going to happen (insert sad trombone noise here-wah waaaah).
And Glory Hallelujah Amen that I have received forgiveness for my sins and do not have to rely on my own goodness to save me...
but that's not the message completely.
See....after I was done praying I grabbed a verse laying on my desk that I had written on an index card a while ago and read it (just thought I randomly grabbed it...honestly not even sure why I did....well--I guess God knew).
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the SURPASSING GREATNESS of His power toward us who believe." Ephesians 1:19a too.
This was huge for me...especially when I realized a few more things.
So, parenting is really hard. It will only take about 5 minutes of being a parent to realize that you're terrible at it. And you might be able to coast a little while thinking you're good at it..but children have a unique way of proving you wrong one way or the other (little rebels). So in that moment of realization we have two choices:
1. Walk away head in hands in defeat and wallow over how ill equipped and horrible we are at this thing.."who even let me take this baby home anyways?"
2. Apply faith.
I're all looking for a really earth shattering revelation and that wasn't quite as profound as you thought...but I'm getting there.
So, I usually resort to the first option. Here's the problem with that.
#1--it emphasizes me and my failure....which is obvious, but not where my focus should be.
Focusing on myself (even in a negative way) just reinforces myself and puts the focus back on me...not where it should be. See, I can think I'm doing a really great thing in saying "I'm no good at this" and "I can't do it" and "why me?" and "I'll never be" but that in itself is sin...that is...if I stop there.
If I stop there I am left with a lack of faith...a lack of faith in a God who is bigger than me...and with that...I can do nothing.
"And without faith it is impossible to please God" Hebrews 11:6
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
This is encouraging to me.
Because I've already learned I can't on my own, the problem is I stayed there. Now I have to work at remembering "But through Him I can". I'm praying that the eyes of your heart will be enlightened, that you will know the surpassing power available to you and that in the moments you are most weak in your parenting (a profession that has a terrible habit of bringing our junk to the surface)--you will realize that you have this power available. "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3
And that in the times that you find it hard to believe you will turn your face to God, humble yourself and pray: ""I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Mark 9:24.

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