Fact: Parenting is hard.
And gross and fun and frustrating and wonderful.
Fact: I am imperfect.
Oh, so flawed…
I am still learning how to parent. I question if I’m screwing up my kids by not letting them do things. I question if I’m screwing up my kids by letting them do other things. Every day is a new experiment and quite honestly, I don’t know how I’m doing.
Fact: My imperfection, as a parent and as a person, affects my boys.
We learned this weekend at church that we should look to God as our example for how to parent. We can take cues from how He loves us, and pass that love on to our kids. God loves us unconditionally. He loves us enough to give us rules and guidelines and we should do the same for our kids.
But so much more than that, God loves us enough to sacrifice everything for us. To give us grace and mercy and even to give up his own life for us.
When I think about that example and how I live up to it, I know I would give my life for my boys. When they’re sick or hurt, it breaks my heart and I wish I could take that pain on myself to stop their suffering. I would absolutely make the ultimate sacrifice for my boys.
But that’s not what is called of me on a daily basis. My kids don’t need me to give up my life for them. They need me to give up my selfishness for them. They need my time. They need my attention. They need me to LIVE for them, not die for them.
Believe it or not, that’s a much harder sacrifice for me.
This blog was originally started as an online baby book for my boys, to record their milestones and remember them at each stage of growth. It’s now a place where I am recording how much my boys have taught me and how I’ve grown. But I pray that someday, Isaac and Asher will look back and read these words from their young mother.
Isaac and Asher: I hope you know how much I love you. I hope you know I would do anything for you. My goal as a parent is to love you well and teach you to be godly men who love others more than yourselves. I hope that is apparent to you. Today’s lesson in godliness is that you must give each other grace. I am human and this whole parenting thing will always be new to me. I have made mistakes and I will continue to make mistakes and I know that it is very likely that you will be in counseling one day because of the way I have parented you. I am so sorry for that. Please forgive me and please extend some grace my way.
God, I thank you for showing us how to raise our kids. It seems counter-intuitive to say “no” because of our love, but it is evident that you love us by the boundaries you’ve given us. You want us to live full, guilt-free, joy filled lives and the limits you’ve given us guide us towards that full life. I beg you to give me wisdom and help me to make wise choices when it comes to raising my boys. I pray that you and my boys both will forgive me when I screw up. Just as you forgive and forget our mistakes, I pray that my faults won’t leave a lasting impression on my kids. May they be able to overcome my imperfection and learn from my faults. But more than anything, I pray that You help me achieve my parenting goal, may these boys grow up to be godly men who put You and others before themselves. May I learn that lesson as well, and love my boys more than I love my own time. God, I cannot do this alone. Thank you that I don’t have to. Thank you for Randall who compliments me perfectly. Thank you for a community of people who care enough about my boys to have the same goal. Thank you most of all, for never giving up on us and for never once leaving us to do this on our own.