Wednesday, January 28, 2009

mom of tiny ones

The Lord has laid upon my heart a passion for moms of tiny ones. A passion to extend grace and patience to those in a turbulent roller coaster of baby, toddler, and preschooler life.

This whole phase starts off with such a jolt the moment you hold your firstborn. You are thrust into the unknowns, physical demands, and emotional ups and downs. I think it's a miracle we have more than just one kid. I'm fairly certain it's because somewhere around 15-18 months they are the cutest things on earth and we think, hey, I could do this again. And it still blows my mind that we can somehow fade the memory of birthing that child into the world.

Then there is the pressure from outside sources. I never experienced this in the way of material items I bought for my kids, but I know others have. My pressure came from discipline. It came from this idea that if I didn't do the "right" thing now, I was doomed. That if I couldn't muster up this perfect plan of discipline, my kids would be lazy, unresponsive, and a menace to society.

One day while praying and asking my many questions the Lord gave me peace. A peace to know that this journey is long and hard and He will give me the skills and creativity to parent in a way that is glorifying to Him and supportive of my children. Am I always successful at this? NO! In fact there are many days I lack patience and love. Days where it takes all that I have to give even an inch of grace to a child that is hurting.

Grace and mercy keep arriving at my doorstep each morning. It's grace for me and comfort that His mercies are new every morning. That even though I told Lily to 'come when I say come' a thousand times yesterday, I may only have to say it 100 today. And that because the Lord has extended grace to me, I get to extend it to her and thus teaching her what it means to be filled with grace for others.

I will say here for those that wonder, I do believe in teaching my children to obey. I think it is key in many areas. But when life is chaotic and the pieces aren't falling into place, I need to remember that grace is there and we can stop, take a breath and start over and I'm not going to be less as a result.

If I had the chance to write this on the billboard of life for moms, I would. I want every mom in their tantrum filled, noisy, physically demanding life to know that there will be moments of respite, that it's okay not to have it altogether, and that we are a group of women and families struggling to figure this whole parenting gig out together. And once we feel like we have our footing, our children will hit another phase and we'll be searching around for someone else who knows exactly how we feel.


amanda said...

beautifully said friend.

thank you for the reminder :)

Kate said...

Kate, this really should be on a bilboard, or read to parenting classes. Your writing is amazing. Oh, how I wish we were neighbors!! Love you, my friend.

LDraper said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart.

I have learned, as the mom of 2 wonderfully enthusiastic children, to recognize those moments of grace in my day. I am so thankful that the Lord shows me these moments and that I have learned to notice and take joy in them. It makes the challenging moments easier to press on through.

Jodi said...

I struggle with feeling pressure about discipline too. It's so hard. I agree and am encouraged by your statement that when we seek God He will give us the skills to parent how He wants us to. And that sometimes that looks different from family to family. Probably because all kids are different (duh) and God has an intimate knowledge of what each of our children needs.

I get so discouraged when my kids are repeatedly disobedient, but I keep having to remind myself that just because they're not seeming to "get it" doesn't mean I'm doing something wrong in my discipline. They're children and they're learning. They're going to mess up over and over and over, and that's why I'm here- to point them back in the right direction over and over and over.

Anyhoo, love hearing your heart.

molly butler said...

Thank you! I needed this today...:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I'm 5 weeks away from having my first child. At 34 years old, you'd think I'd know enough to feel "ready" but I don't. :-) And I'm glad because if I felt like I already knew it all, I wouldn't be blessed by others like your blog blessed me today. I'm going to share the link with a friend of mine who has a 6 year old and a 3 year old. Thank you for sharing and helping to form a community of women who are nice to one another and supportive of one another.

kate said...

thanks ladies for all your support and your encouragement through these comments. I'm glad that my words helped you today.

Shelby said...

I'm nearly in tears after reading this. This post was meant for me to read! thanks Kate.