I can’t remember the beginning of the story because I don’t ever recall the day I choose to stop parenting intentionally.
What exactly triggered that moment?
When did I just let things go?
Some how, some way, one whiny moment led to another. Discussions and negotiations became the norm instead of joyful obedience. Yes "mom" were empty words, as they never really responded to what I requested of them . . . especially cleaning their rooms.
Was it all because I didn’t follow through?
Was I too distracted? Maybe too worn down?
While I was on my A-game as a mom to my older girls, somehow . . . some way . . . my littles were were getting another experience all-together and missing out on the critical years of training. I suppose their sweet disposition, joyful temperaments, and all-around cute-as-a-button antics led to me be ever-so-slightly deceived that they didn’t need the training quite as much.
Fast forward to present day and I’m seeing what was missed. I can make excuses, of course — and some are valid. I've been parenting for 16 years . . . and I’m tired. It's not my nature to be a nurturer, as much as I wish that was the case. How about you?
Does motherhood feel foreign and tiresome, even though you love your littles to pieces?
This motherhood journey requires perseverance like nothing else.
I was certainly not prepared to endure through thick and thin, yet that doesn't change the reality that my littles need just as much training and parenting attention as the bigs. Maybe that's why the Lord doesn't mind giving us a little kick in the pants from time-to-time when it comes to our roles as moms and the fresh reminders we need to keep on working at it. That's what happened to me recently, through watching a parenting DVD series, which I thought I was "well beyond my season" and spending time with a new friend who happens to be in the throes of parenting little ones.
The Holy Spirit came over me afresh, reminding me of the privilege of being a mom and how essential it is to have a clear vision of my role as mom . . . a vision that puts love and discipline together in light of a an eternal perspective.
Love isn't always what we think it is . . .
Love is when we sacrifice our time to parent in the details.
Love is when we push through our tiredness to have that extra measure of consistency.
Love is when we put off our plans to snuggle and talk and train up the heart.
Love is when we follow through with that strong-leader kiddo instead of avoiding confrontation.
Love is when we say no to things that are foolishly filled with temptation.
Love is when we say yes to lessons that develop character and integrity.
Love is when we are more concerned with their sanctification and transformation than their worldly success.
Love is when we are focused on their souls and eternal destination more than their earthly one.
Love is not about letting them do whatever they want, whenever they want.
Love is not about making them happy and comfortable.
Love is not about negotiating the rules.
Love is not about ignoring or un-doing the consequences.
Love is not about a life without submission and surrender.
Love is not about signing up for every activity.
Love is not about fabulous vacations and a life full of accessories.
Love is not about doing it for them.
Love is not about covering up their mistakes and shortcomings.
Love is not about their accomplishments, awards, or accolades from this world.
Love is when we remember they are on loan to us to raise up and not ever meant to be our world, our trophy, our worth.
Loving our children is about investing OUR time and energy, as well as engaging OUR full hearts and minds, in the training up of OUR children for their long term gain . . . not our short term comfort.
Some how, some way, I lost site of what it really means to love my children. I am so grateful for the Lord’s grace and forgiveness. Oh the beauty of repentance and the way the Lord Jesus washes us clean and gives us fresh new opportunities each and every day.
To God be the glory, for He loves us in our mess and His grace is always extended our way.
Dear momma friend, will you join me as we walk in the mercy of God, asking Him for fresh vision and focus as we embrace our responsibilities as moms?
Abiding in Him,
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