Thursday, January 27, 2011

Learning and Teaching...all at the same time.

Lately I've been thinking about the impressions that I'm leaving on my sweet Julia as a mother. I know heavy stuff, huh? It's been very humbling to realize that I know absolutely nothing about raising a child to know and love Jesus. I feel that Tom and I are very intentional when it comes to planting seeds of faith in her life yet I never feel like I'm doing enough. Every day I feel as though I'm just blindly directing her and guiding her, and praying that somehow she'll see Jesus and His love for her despite my faulty parenting. Tom and I have completed quite a few Bible studies on the subject of parenting and read several awesome books on the topic. I want us to be intentional parents, to have a game plan and ultimately see our child come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Right now we are what she sees, i hope that she sees Jesus in me.

We are extremely blessed to be surrounded by wonderful Christian families who have the same desires to raise their children to know and love Jesus. How awesome it is to be inspired and have the support of other young families along the way.

Still, the feelings of inadequacy set in. I can justify myself saying that we do all the "Christian" things with our child. We take her to Church, we pray before meals, say bedtime prayers, we talk about God and His hand in everyday life and read Bible stories. We focus on the fruits of the spirit and we are striving to train her in first time obedience. However, sometimes I have to check myself. Am I doing these things because I love Jesus with such a fierce passion that my hearts desire is for my child to love Jesus with all her heart? Or is it just my pride motivating me to strive towards these things? I mean really, who wants a poorly behaved child. I have to catch myself and remember that the goal is not behavior, but a heart attitude that gleams for Jesus.

I have been praying fervently, and will for as long as I'm her mom, for wisdom in training Miss Julia to love and life daily for God. Obviously I believe that ultimately it's all up to God as to whether or not she will live her life for Him or not. I am also aware that I am going to make many mistakes along the way, but as Christian parents we clearly have an obligation to teach our children intentionally and diligently. You know what my mind keeps coming back to? The scripture where Jesus tells the people that the glass is dirty on the inside but clean on the outside. I need to first look at my own personal relationship with God before I'm too quick to harp on my child's sin and shortcomings. When I think about the impression I want to leave on my child, I want her to know I love Jesus, but I also want her to realize that I'm not any better than her and I'm on the same journey she love the Lord and serve Him until he takes me home. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Little Green Peas.

Little green peas brightly contrast our grey colored carpet. Colorful halves of Easter eggs peek out among the socks in the drawer. A carton of sour cream hides among the bright fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator drawer. Life seems to be a juxtaposition of unlikely objects in my role as mother of an adventurous, curious toddler. Miss Julia's daily life is a series of the struggles highlighting opposing pairings. From sucking her thumb and wanting to be held like a little baby to demanding to dress herself, her behavior is a study of opposites. The mother’s life too reflects the often uneasy pairing of the polished professional woman with the sometimes (most of the time) frazzled, uncertain or exasperated mother of a young child. There is I believe a lesson to be learned in these contrasts. My life is enriched by the unexpected, popping up in refreshing ways, keeping me alert and reminding me not to sit too comfortably in one place for too long. A spatula hiding under the bed? Well, why not?

I am learning to slow down, enjoy and soak it all in. I've learned to find joy in the chaos and embrace the unexpected...