Tuesday 3 June 2014

The most wonderful, hardest Adventure

On Sunday nights, I've started doing a parenting course at church. I'm so eager to learn and grow in this area... It's the area of my life that I sometimes feel I get right... And other times couldn't get more wrong. What a responsibility... I am shaping little lives, and the things I do, the things I say, the responses I give to them have the potential of impacting them and shaping them for the rest of their lives.

It's a heavy burden... A wonderful burden... But one that could break you.

On Sunday we were talking about the impact of our own upbringing on our parenting, and I saw again how much I have been influenced and blessed by my own parents. I also grateful for my Mum and Dad, and the way they modelled godly parenting... But I know so often I fall short of that. Its a small picture of the way I fall short of my ultimate Heavenly Father, and the wonderful way he parents me.

Too often, recently, I have felt rebuked when I have responded in anger to something Ava has done or said, and a little voice inside me has said "I don't remember my Mum ever using that tone with me..." Or "I don't think your Dad ever said something like that to you...!" It breaks me... And the weight of parenting feels so heavy, all over again.

And that's when I'm so very thankful for grace. The knowledge that ultimately, my children are a gift of God, and therefore while I do have a responsibility to love them well and model the gospel, my Heavenly Father holds their lives in his hands. And I can pray... Pray for strength to be a better mother, pray for forgiveness when I make mistakes... And openly admit that to my children.

Because I so long for this home to be a place where grace is felt... And that is hard. Because grace doesn't come naturally to me... This almost three-year-old has the ability to defy, to disobey, to embarrass me like no-one else... And in those circumstances, grace is hard. Grace is not the easy option... Walking her through her reactions, and opening up her heart is much harder, more time consuming and emotionally draining than simply yelling at her and requiring a quick-fix apology.

But I trust it will be worth it

Worth it because I can give my daughters daily into my Father's hands and say...

Lord, I make a mess of this parenting thing sometimes. I'm a sinner, parenting sinners... Thank you for your grace shown to me... That you love me unconditionally despite my flaws, that you gently discipline me, that you sometimes allow my life to feel uncomfortable and give me boundaries so that I grow, that you always have my best at heart. Help me to be that kind of parent... Help unconditional love, gentle discipline, growth and my children's best, even if that means being brave enought to not be popular with them at times, characterise my parenting...

This parenting thing is the most wonderful, hardest, joyful, painful adventure I have ever gone on... I'm so far from the Mama I always wanted to be, but grateful for the grace that I can start afresh every day in his strength....

Anyone else find this parenting thing hard at times??


  1. You are a great mum my dear! Your dad and I were and are far from perfect parents but we pray a lot xxx

  2. I am totally with you! I have a 2.5 yo daughter and a 15 week old son who are moulding me. I'm finding the book 'a mom after God's own heart' to be really helpful in keeping ny eyes fixed on God in my parenting journey. Off to read books now!

  3. I think praying and leaning on God is the only think that has got me through this job so far. Seriously, it's the toughest thing I've ever had to do and challenges me daily, even hourly at times! I think it shows up your greatest flaws - impatience, anger (to name but a few of mine!). But in some ways it keeps me close to God - I could not do this thing without Him, I know it and He does too! We do beat ourselves up a lot, I feel, but that's not what God wants for us. Just to say "look I messed up, please help me to do better" is surely the key? You are the best and perfect parent for your child, that's the thing to remember - hard on some days! x

  4. I find it a challenge every day!! I wrote earlier in the year about trying to be more patient and to be honest I'm still finding it tough but I am with you so much, I really want to be an example to my children, to celebrate the gift they are from God even when it's challenging and to know that when they are older that (mostly by the grace of God) I have raised them well. I don't want their memories of me to be raising my voice or not having the patience to sit and talk with them...I could go on! Great post and really thought provoking.

  5. I was just thinking this week about how my parenting is really not up to scratch most of the time. Two things I cling to - one that, as you say, these are God's children and ultimately he will care for them, and two, that I as I love and pray for my children, because of his love for me and them, God will help me to be the best mum I can. Everything else, like in the rest of my life, will fall into place - I trust!

  6. I have just been thinking this week that most of the time my parenting really isn't up to scratch. Two things I hold on to: one, that, as you say, these are God's children and ultimately he will look after them, and two, that as I love them and pray for them, God, in his love for me and them, will help me to be the best mum I can - just as he helps me in every other area of my life - and then he'll cover what is lacking in grace!


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