Parenting

I was thinking today about how much “easier” my 10 year old seems to be than some of my other 4 children. Well, most of them. Of my 5 children, my son is a delight, and easy compared to his dramatic sisters. But my 10 year old daughter (I realize the hormones haven’t kicked in yet) is also in the easy category. At least that’s how it seems. Reality check: I think it has more to do with me and my parenting her than it does with how different she might be.

All of my kids are great and have wonderful strengths, and I’ve enjoyed them all. I’d be lying if I said I enjoy them all the time, because there have been times when they’ve been downright hard to like.  And there have been times when I wanted so badly to retire from motherhood. There have been fearful times, angry times, embarrassing times, disappointing times — but when I look at the bigger picture, all of those times are what make up the depth of our relationships. My hope is that we’ll all look back sooner than later and see that we’ve come a long way and that we really do have a loving family.

Back to my 10 year old. She’s just a great kid. I know I’m not as hung up in making sure I do everything right, that she does everything right, that she come out as “good” as our neighbor’s kid, that she always gives the right Sunday school answer. I’m just glad she’s part of our family. I think learning to relax as a parent has been a good thing for me, but especially for her. Not that we disregard discipline, rules, etc. But there just isn’t the underlying expectation on myself or on her to be the perfect mother and perfect daughter. That alone is probably the best thing for both of us.

Maybe I’ll be updating this blog in a few years once those hormones have taken over. We’ll see. But for now, I’m just enjoying the gift God has given me with her and am so very thankful for the time we’ve had. I just pray I can be a blessing to her as she is to me…

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Janie

I have a new friend named Janie, who at 26 has gone through more hardships of life than anyone else I’ve known, mostly because of her choices. But the best thing about it all is seeing God’s work in her life…if left up to her or society, she would either be in prison or dead. Instead, thankfully, she is working as an intern in a ministry where she has opportunities to speak to young people about their choices and hopefully steer them in a different direction. Corrie Ten Boom said that there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still…and Janie’s life proves it.

But at the same time, while rejoicing that she has been able to climb out of the pit at God’s direction, I wonder about others who have dug themselves in pretty deep and seem to have no light at the top. At least not yet. My prayer for them is that they will find favor, as Janie did, and turn back before it’s too late. I truly believe that God’s love and grace is sufficient…but I have to confess that it would be nice to see it in their lives, like in Janie’s. Maybe the Hope I see from her story is what will carry me…Lord, help me impart it to others…