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En(courage)ment for hard times, motherhood

being a parent is hard

Being a parent is hard. Parenting a teenager is a whole other animal. My own insecurities, fears, regrets, and wounds come to the surface and fog my perspective.

Thank God for clarity that comes from prayer, Scripture, intuition, experience.

Sometimes it takes days, weeks even to come to the certainty needed to go forward in the right direction. It is hard to wait calmly. Our culture has atrophied in its ability to wait. We could slow and quiet more, or more readily, listening.

I make decisions and then waffle, knowing that a double minded person (mother) is unstable in all her ways. But alas, I lean toward second guessing and worrying about regret. My children need to trust that my yes is yes and my no is no. For that matter, so do I. This is a basic boundary. It will help them immeasurably in their own decisions and relationships. It is a fundamental skill for strong leaders. Why so hard?

Maybe because I don’t want to disappoint, fail, damage my children. Maybe because I let fear take over, and disregard perfect love. Joy unspeakable. The knowledge that He will perfect that which concerns them.

Thank God that He loves them more than I do. That He can use anything to speak. Even my mistakes. All of it leading to Him anyway. The only real Source for us. People can’t be our source. Even parents. (Gulp.)

Maybe also it is hard to parent decisively because I carry too much of the weight.

Thank God for His care for me that lets me cast my cares on Him. He calls Himself “the God of all comfort”, my “defender” and “shield.” I picture my cares like a baited hook at the end of a fishing line. And I toss them up up high and out wide to land on His shoulders…but then I reel them back in again and again. One of my sons’ scout leaders recently said of fishing “you can’t catch a fish if your hook isn’t in the water!” We were at a campout and the boys kept reeling in the lines. So then…you can’t cast your cares if you wont…cast them?

And keep them there. This is a daily, no, HOURLY exercise. I forget it for whole days sometimes…oh DO let’s be honest. Whole weeks.

These decisions about my children as they become adolescents – when to let go, when to hold on, when to say no or yes, how to be the tough love bad guy sometimes, how to trust the Holy Spirit when it makes no sense, how to celebrate, what to celebrate – they can be like forks in the road, leading into dim forest with unknown ramifications.

We have family convictions that make us look odd sometimes. There is a fine line between being overprotective and a good steward.

These uncharted waters require courage.

Thank God for wisdom that He promises to give if we ask. My problem is impatience. I ask and don’t want to wait. Waiting is as much as an action as making a decision. The process is profound.

Thank God that He will help me trust. That He doesn’t give a spirit of fear, but of power, love, a sound mind. The self control I need to be patient for Him to work it all out perfectly.

Parenting is hard.

Thank God I am not alone. I have supernatural help. I have a wonderful Father who is teaching me how to be as He is.

A good parent.

“For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.” Psalm 36:9

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