I first connected with Mindy over her post My Ten Year Anniversary with God over at (in)courage. Her words resonated with my heart and I immediately contacted her. She is a woman who allows God to pursue her and “she can testify that all of His gifts are indeed GOOD, even though they aren’t always in pretty packages. In fact, I have learned quite a bit through suffering, maybe even more than any other way.” I am excited for you to meet her. Without further adieu…
Freedom in Parenting
Hindsight is a funny thing. It gives perspective that can be found in no other way.
When my first-born child was born. I was terrified. My hormones were so out of whack and I was too busy adjusting and crying to realize how scared I was, but I can see it looking back.
I was scared to death that my kids would have to go through some of the things that I did. I wanted to create a perfect world for them and I was sure that if I just tried hard enough and got enough information, than I could do just that.
It started with whether or not to let Dylan cry it out. Would I scar him for life if I let him cry? Would he have this feeling of deep insecurity and mistrust if I didn’t comfort him immediately? And then it was environment, would he be influenced down a dark path if I let him be around certain types of people and/or watch certain shows? Education, would I be able to provide for him so that one day he could succeed in this dog eat dog world? And of course there’s salvation,would he trust Jesus with his heart or would I screw him up so badly that He never wanted anything to do with Jesus? Would being a pastor’s kid mess him up? What foods do I feed him to make sure he doesn’t struggle with childhood obesity? What kind of kids do I let him hang around? Image is a big one too. How do I make him do the right thing and act the right way when we are around other people? Do they think I am am horrible mom because he wouldn’t give them a high five? What if he disobeys me in front of the other moms?
It’s insanity the things that go through your head when you are a new mom. And it’s enough to cause a person to parent paralyzed. That’s what I used to do.
I was always, always, always thinking of the affect of everything I did or said. I wanted perfect kids and a perfect family. It didn’t take long to realize that I was the biggest obstacle. Jason was always so laid back about the way we did things with our kids and I didn’t understand why he wasn’t stressed out like I was!! Didn’t he realize the weight of being a parent?? Didn’t he know we only had 18 years or so to get this RIGHT?!
I read every single parenting book out there.
Over the course of the years, and I can’t exactly pin point the moment, God began to free me of those fears and insecurities. I started asking God how I should pray for my kids, and somewhere along the way, I realized that the best way to parent my kids was how God was parenting me. The books I had read were good, but the best influence I had in my life was God the father himself.
He speaks truths over me. He tells me things like, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” “I have a future and a hope for you,” “do not be afraid, I am with you,” “nothing you ever do could separate you from my love,” and “come to me when you are tired and weary and I will give you rest.” He also gives me free will to make decisions. Sometimes, when I make the wrong decisions, He lets the consequences of my actions play out. Sometimes He steps in and protects me from my actions. Always, He covers me with His grace, He never shames me. He never holds my mistakes over my head. He forgives me constantly. He loves me when no-one else does.
So I started transferring these things over to my kids. I have had people tell me on numerous occasions that, “I am so calm.” And I have to give all the glory to God. When my kids do silly things, I deal with it, and move on. It’s not some huge surprise to me that they act like kids and have to be corrected frequently.
God also has told me to teach them His ways. So I am doing that. And because I know my God can be trusted and that He loves me, I am resting in the fact that He will take care of the “outcome.” He loves my kids more than I do and for some reason, unbeknownst to me, He has given Jason and I the privilege of raising them. All I can do is be faithful to what He can commands of me and take rest in His sovereignty over the rest.
This gives me freedom and peace and I am so thankful for the drastic change God has made in my life! And my kids are still so young, so I get to have many years of resting in His truth’s! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus. YOU ALONE are mighty to save. You are such a compassionate God who has heard my cries. I love you and praise you!
Please go over and visit Mindy @ Very Unfinished Product and let’s show her some word women love:)
Mindy also started a linkup called In my Shoes and Mindy’s book list is worth your time to check out. Well – what do you think? Good words…please feel free to share your input on parenting in the comments below and/or linkup a post on parenting ( words, poem, pictures, a craft…whatever is related to being a parent or wanting to be;)
Just put the direct URL in and that’s it. If you would so kindly link back to Word woman Wednesday… that would be an easy way for us all to find each other. Also - Erin over @ ItsGrace gets us all together on Thursday for Mama’s Heart if you would like to link your parenting post over there tomorrow?
Thank you to each one of you for baring your hearts here each Wednesday. Next Wednesdays prompt is Zephaniah 3:17!!!
The LORD your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Lots of opportunity for inspiration!