This parenting thing is not for the faint of heart.
When my kids were little, all my friends with older children (e.g. older than mine were at the time) would always tell me how much harder parenting is as the kids get older.
"Yeah, right", I thought. Raising twins was never a cake-walk from the moment I became an immediate mother of two! I thought that surely nothing could be harder than two newborns, or two toddlers, or two pre-schoolers.
Well, here's what I think today: parenting the little ones is physically exhausting, while parenting the olders is emotionally exhausting.
Want to know when parenting is REALLY hard? When you see your childhood struggles rearing their ugly heads in the lives of your children. Ugh. It stinks.
Nothing can throw me back faster to my childhood hurts than when I see similar things happening with my kids. Talk about Momma Bear mode? This is like Momma Bear with a wounded paw mode. Not. Pretty.
Right now I see my kids walking through some things that I went through as a child - in fact some of the same things that still plague me today! Things that still hurt my feelings. Things that still sting - and they sting even worse when it's happening to my babies.
So where does that leave me? I'm trying to handle this the right way. Perhaps better than it was handled with me. I'm trying to choose my words & actions differently - so as not to impose some of the same secondary wounds that were once inflicted on me. I'm praying more. And more specifically.
While watching the Beth Moore video from the study of James last night, I heard God's voice speaking to my heart about this exact thing. He reminded me that no prayer is too hard for Him. He wants to direct my paths - and is thrilled when I actually ask Him. He is the One who I must first go to when life gets hard. Not my Mom. Not my husband. Not my friends. (Not Facebook.) My first go-to needs to be to God in prayer. Let Him settle my heart. Calm my fears. Heal my wounds. He gives direction. He gives clarity. He gives peace.
Today, my heart is heavy. God reminds me that His burdens are light.
Today I shed tears of frustration. God reminds me that His ways are always clear.
When I don't know the best plan of action - thank goodness God knows.
May we all remember this too (Beth Moore said it so well in last night's video): Jesus came to earth so that we might have life - and have it abundantly. Abundant life. Not life with abundant hurts. Not life with abundant worries. Abundant life.
As a parent, the only possible way to have an abundant life - the kind that Jesus offers - is to take our parenting to God in prayer. Daily. Every hour. Every minute if needed. God loves our children even more than we do. He knows exactly what they need. May we all take time each day to ask God to reveal that to us and to help us be the best parent we can be today. Oh how I want to get this parenting thing right. Don't you?!
If you're walking through some tough Mom moments, I hope you'll join me in prayer. We need lots of fellow sojourners on this journey called Parenthood.
Until next time -