Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Part of Me

My kids have been reading through my blog this past week and enjoying themselves immensely. It's brought up a lot of memories, howling laughter and conversations between them. This is the first time ever that they've been independently interested in what I've written, yet I've been hit with a twinge of guilt. "Mom, why did you stop writing? You should have told about that one time.... I like hearing your voice on paper."

I know. I know.

I am a bit inspired, though, that this little blog is serving the purpose for which it was composed- to give our children a bit of insight into our lives, relationships and history together while passing along my own thoughts and perspectives as God is changing me day by day. It makes me smile to think of the seven of them ten, twenty, even thirty years from now having these writings and pictures in a permanent record and at their disposal at any time. My smile grows even bigger when I imagine my grandchildren learning about their own parents as little boys or girls.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a co-worker who is an author. She was sharing about her passion for writing and how she answers the question, "What do you do?" Though she is a full time NICU nurse, she always responds, "I'm a writer." Writing is what flows naturally for her It is what she must do. It is what she most loves.

I found myself tearing up as I told her about how I have written since I was a child and used to enjoying keeping up a blog. My emotions surprised me. It was much the same feeling that comes over me when I think about playing the piano.

We live in a soundbite kind of world. Little bits of information here or there fill our days. No stories. No details. No time to put it down or take it in.

Perhaps it's time for that to change.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Learning to Be Mom

I am currently reading Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller and in just one chapter I've been majorly convicted on many levels.

Perhaps one of my biggest challenges of the past year has been in how to parent our teenagers. I found myself in a cycle of frustration, disappointment and anger as we worked through some new and challenging issues.

Instead of dealing with the heart issues, I spent a lot of time asking questions like, "Don't you know better and this? You were not raised this way, were you?" I think that having homeschooled our children for so many years I (wrongly, I might add) feel responsible for and entitled to children who would 99% of the time do the right thing.

When things weren't going "my" way, too many times I responded hastily and in sin. I'm thankful for the grace we can give to one another, because we have ultimately been given grace by God.

As the conflicts have faded into the past, I have been reflecting on what I've learned about myself as not just a mom, but as a child of God. Just as I'm still learning what it means to be God's child, I have so much more to learn about what it means to love the children God has entrusted me to mother.

The book's chapter was about the idols in Abraham's life and his willing sacrifice of Isaac. Here are some excerpts from the book that specifically challenged me:

"I must be able to say, 'My desire for completely successful and happy children is selfish. It's all about my need to feel worthwhile and valuable. If I really know God's love- then I could accept less-than-perfect kids and wouldn't be crushing them. If God's love meant more to me than my children, I could love my children less selfishly and more truly.'"

When a child is an idol a parent:
  • Overdisciplines them/ Needs them to be "perfect"
  • Underdisciplines them / Can't bear their displeasure
Then the child fails to meet expectations the parent becomes angry, cruel or violent because of their disappointment.

"God's rough treatment of Abraham was merciful- until Abraham had to choose between his son and his God he could not see that his love was becoming idolatrous."

"If anyone puts a child in the place of the true God, it creates an idolatrous love that will smother the child and strangle the relationship. "