| ||Haven ~|
She is next to me now, on her back propped against my leg as I sit cross legged on the bed, laptop in front of me.
Her fingers are jammed in her mouth, as if she is trying to get her whole fist in all at once.
She has discovered her hands in a new way this past week. She adores them.
She knows me now and looks for me.
I am her world.
She accepts me completely just like I am. She is sure I am her happiness.
I make her day. She often makes mine.
This is infanthood I suppose. What a precious season.
How fleeting it is.
She is so cuddly even in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping, but she thinks I should not be.
All the little details of her enthrall me.
I suppose all this could make mothering sound easy. Calm as a lake appears after a storm.
Oh, how it's not easy. I never get over how this mothering thing can't be perfected as much as I would want it to be.
Each day holds something new that I've never faced before as a mom. And with it comes no instruction manual.
It's like the surprise question on the test you thought you'd studied for. . . the one that gets you because you didn't know it would be on the test. There was just no way to know. So you guess.
Wow, was there a lot of those types of test questions this week!
At every single level:
Mother to a thirteen year old boy? Did I get a book on that? Oh, but I've read a few, and though they had some good thoughts, guess what? It doesn't make it all okay. I'm still pretty clueless when it comes right down to it.
Mother to an eleven year old boy, and ten year old boy - who are, of course, nothing alike? Where is THAT manual?
Mother to a six year old boy? Wait, haven't I done that boy age three times already? Guess what, it's different once again. I need a whole new start because he is not one bit like the others.
Mother to an eight year old girl? Wasn't I eight once? Can't I figure this one out?
Mother to a four year old girl, two and a half year old girl, baby girl. . . by now, surely, I should have this down?
No child is alike. At least not mine.
I've no desire for them to be. . . but wouldn't that make it simpler? Maybe that's why some parents raise cookie-cutter kids. Yuck.
It's not like I get one down, so the rest walk in line. It's not like I come to understand one age so I understand what to do with the rest when they reach that age. If you think it's that way, it's not.
It's not like many children = better mommy. Ha, no.
Just an opinion, but it might be the opposite in many situations.
Don't look at a mom who has many thinking that makes her a better mom. It just doesn't.
Numbers don't equate quality of mothering. Leah in the Bible had lots of kiddos, but the spiritual outcome wasn't pretty.
The moms I go to to ask mothering advice? They have much fewer children then I have. . . but I have seen them successfully love their children with God's kind of love.
One day I won't be Haven's world.
I won't be her everything. She won't look to me to be her life, and she shouldn't.
She will see my faults. My struggles, my imperfections -- like the older kids do.
I won't pretend for her.
I will ask her to have mercy on me. . . because I really do not know what I'm doing. Every day my job description holds new details I've never done before. Everyday I see how unprepared for what is in front of me and I don't want to pretend I know. I don't know.
As a mom I've been given the opportunity every single day to walk humbly.
There is nothing probably greater I can give my children then that.
I wake knowing I am desperate for Him. As long as I've got children living, and I'm a mom, that fact won't change.
"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. 4:16
I don't have confidence in my mothering skills. What I do have confidence in is God's lavish grace and mercy.
Drawing near to Him is the only way to mother.
That way when things don't go as planned, or kids act up, or there are surprises I never thought I would have to face -
I might not have a play book that gives me play by play what I should do with that particular child in that particular situation. . . but I have confidence that God will help me in my time of need.
I'm going to make mistakes. I have already. One day I will look back and there will be things that we will come back to our children on and say, "Man, we wish we'd done it differently..." or "We're sorry we did ---" whatever.
We're going to blow it in one way or another. If we don't believe that we are going to in some way as parents, then our poor children who must live with our pride! Pride is probably the biggest way we CAN blow it!
We can humbling go to our kids and ask for grace and mercy from them too.
This past week the older boys were pointing out to me some inconsistencies I'd made in regards to what was required of one but not another. I hadn't intended to be unfair or inconsistent. Sometimes there are times where something must be required of one son that isn't for another son. They are all different with different strengths and weaknesses.
They weren't intending to be disrespectful either by bringing their feelings into the open. We encourage respectful voicing of different opinions and feelings in our family. Each child is an individual and just because it feels bad as parents to think we might have not been a great parent at something doesn't mean we shouldn't allow our children to share how they feel if it's voiced respectfully.
Their feelings are VERY important to me.
More often then not, I've found my kids were right when they point something out that hurt them, or seemed inconsistent.
Anyway, as I listened to their hearts. . . I felt kind of numb. I wasn't wanting their self-pity (pride is self-pity's twin after all) but I did feel they needed to see me as human, mistakable - in need of forgiveness - and in need of it from them my whole life through.
I didn't plan on giving a speech, but it kind of came out that way I guess. Something like this,
"Guys, it's hard to say this, but I don't know what I'm doing as a mom. I make mistakes, there are times I say things and or do things or don't do them and you wonder why. You see that I'm not being consistent, or maybe I seem unfair. Maybe I seem like I don't understand. Maybe I seem too firm, or not firm enough. I am sorry.
The truth is my heart is to love each of you. And I do, completely equal. That will never change. I wake up each morning and honestly guys, I don't know how to be a mom. No one told me how to mother eight children and I don't know anyone who has done it that I think would know how to mother the eight I have.
No one gave me a play book for each of you with instructions on how to love you as the unique individual that you are. I am learning as I go. I didn't get practice at this. I don't know what I'm doing. I want to learn. I want to love. I want to be a good mommy. That is my goal and my desire.
That is what I wake up wanting to do each and every single day. That is why I need God so much because I just don't know, guys, and I will be wrong many times in your life. I need you to remember that I need mercy and grace just like you need mercy and grace from me. I admit I can't do this, but that doesn't mean I won't give everything in my soul to doing the best I can.
I want to be quick to confess when I've sinned against you. I want to walk humbly before you. I want to show you how much God loves you and I want that to come through me. Sometimes it won't and I'm sorry.
I just want you to understand that I may not know what I'm doing as a mom some of the time, but I am trying, I'm trying really hard and I am asking each day for God to show me and to help me. God has given me to you to teach you how to love even when it's difficult, and He has given you to me to teach me the same thing. Sometimes it's not difficult at all, but sometimes it is. That's life.
God's kind of love loves when it's difficult. . . even when we don't deserve it. That's the love of God. That's the God that I go to and I ask for help to be the mom you guys need me to be. I'm sorry when I'm not the mom you need me to be, but even that, God will use in your life and in mine."
We were riding in the car on the way to basketball when that spill all came out. It got really quiet in the back seat. It was like they saw me for who I am: a desperate housewife-mom.
The kind of desperate though that hasn't lost hope. The kind of desperate that has not given up the fight. Kind of more like the underdog in the game. . . who is intent on winning. . . but knows the mountain in front of them is beyond their ability.
At least ability standing all by its lonesome self.
Deuteronomy 3:24: "O Sovereign LORD, You have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works You do?"
Psalms 48:14: "For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end."
Through all this parenting stuff I am again reminded today that satisfaction of the deepest can only be found in God.
What wonderful grace and mercy He has shown to me when I stumble. What grace and mercy I have the privilege of pouring out on my children! And yes, what grace and mercy I ask them to have on me as well.
| ||Posted 1/28/2012 5:13 PM - 1271 Views|