Monday, April 13, 2009

Parenting Is Heart Work

"...He gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40:11
"When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power." 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

That's me flat out this morning -- "I resolve to know nothing"...except our Risen Savior. And I am thankful my faith and the faith of my children rest on God's power and the Spirit's power. I am depending on the truth that He gently leads those that have young.

As a family, we had a meaningful and fun spring break and Easter celebration, and I'll be sharing that in a post soon. However, it was also a challenging week for me as a mom. I found myself thinking and saying too often, "Parenting is hard work". One day I even said to my husband, "Motherhood is the hardest job, and I don't like my job right now." He replied quickly, "Well, it may be hard, but you are good at it". While that didn't make me feel better at that particularly difficult moment, his sweet words have encouraged me since and they continue to linger in my heart. Thank you, Honey!

In reality, it's not the "job" that I don't like. It's when I feel like I am failing miserably at the job. I don't like that...because I love our children with my whole heart. With all of my heart, I want to be a mother as unto the Lord. A friend of mine from years ago once said to me, "Motherhood is the hardest job you'll ever love." I think of that every day. I love being a mom to our children. I love the privilege of having this "job". I don't like when my actions or words don't reflect the Lord. Motherhood exposes my "uglies" each day. And while I am thankful for that faithful exposure by the Light of the World between He and I, it is bittersweet since it seen and felt by my children. A few things I humbly make very clear to our children are: Mommy needs our perfect Savior, Mommy is very imperfect, and Mommy will always ask for forgiveness when I need to (which seems to be daily!). I am deeply thankful for His grace and mercy moment by moment. I am thankful He is strong through my weaknesses.

Training up a child in the Way he should go is hard indeed. There is no greater joy -- I believe that with all of my heart! Yet training our children to walk in the Truth takes unceasing prayer, resolve, commitment, His strength and COMPLETE DEPENDENCE ON THE LORD.

We receive e-mails regularly from The National Center for Biblical Parenting (click here) with parenting tips and resource suggestions. This morning, I read one that was sent last evening -- Easter night. The timing was perfect.

Last evening on the way home from visiting Jim's parents in the Pocono Mountains, I quietly asked the Lord to bless and bring fruit from our labors of love in parenting...for all of our lifetimes. To continually fill our cherubs with His Holy Spirit so they will always abide in Him and stay on the narrow road. To give them His joy and peace that accompanies obedience. To give Jim and me His wisdom, grace and love to raise our precious children according to His truth.

This morning, God sweetly changed my almost-whining chant of "Parenting is hard work" to a renewed phrase of "Parenting Is Heart Work" (click here or on picture below) when I read the latest e-mail from NCBP. Praise the Lord! He is faithful!

The "Heart Work" of parenting will continue to be hard work, I know. But I continue to depend on His power and strength, not my own. I am looking to Him and trusting Him. He loves the apples of our eyes even more than we do!

I hear the pitter-patter of our handsome eight-year old, and I am sure our cute almost-seven-year old will be following soon! The cherubs are arising for another day! Time to run...

As a child of God and as a parent, I love this verse from Deuteronomy:
"He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. The LORD alone led him..." Deuteronomy 32:10-12


Lisa said...

God's perfect timing never ceases to completely astound me. He is continually bringing new reading material my way based on whatever my current struggle might be. I share this particular one with you; with summer break looming on the horizon, I'm trying to get my heart aligned with Christ's so that I can parent my precious children His way, with His heart, seeing them through His eyes. I know it will make all the difference.

Thank you so much for this timely reminder that parenting is indeed "heart work".


Runner Mom said...

Parenting really is heart work! This was wonderful....and so was God's timing! Thanks so much for sharing. You're not alone in having "those moments" as I call them!!


Chatty Kelly said...

Yes, we all do have these moments! I like to joke that everything is a "stage." when they're being especially difficult I remind myself that they will soon be out of this stage. And when they are being especially wonderful...I too remind myself that it is a stage, so I don't get too upset with the stage ends. They are growing & changing, as are we. Parenting is a journey and requiresd constant and deligent work. But I've seen the fruit of your work, as described in your blog - - and I am sure your husband is right!

Keep striving!

Toia said...

Thanks for sharing. I love that it is called Heart Work verses Hard Work. Everything we do should be straight from the heart and full of God's glory. Happy Monday!!

Wendy Blight said...

Oh, what perfect timing for me. I loved the words you used "parenting is heart work!" My sweeet Lauren is driving with her permit and OH the stress it brings in our relationship...came to a head today when she drove right past a stopped school bus with the arm out, lights flashing. Then we turned into the doctors office and she drove over a BIG curb to avoid an oncoming car...not solely her fault...but enough.

I love her so much and want her to undertand the IMMENSE responsibility that comes with driving a car, and I just don't think she gets it. I am praying for the Lord to give me loving yet direct words to impart this wisdom. My fear is that she will have to experience an accident before she gets it!!

Thank you for being my encouragement keep on keeping on in this journey of motherhood. I am not alone. Not only do I have my Father's Spirit guiding and leading me, I have precious sisters in Christ to encourage me and share beautiful words of wisdom.

Love you,


Heather said...

Oh first instinct is to encourage you because truly your husband is so wise. You are a wonderful and God-loving mommy who loves her cherubs with her whole heart (and their friends;) That being said, it is "heart work" and heart work is not easy. It tugs at our heartstrings, brings out our prideful selves and causes us the doubt that the enemy would want us to feel.

That enemy can go pound sand because the more we desire for our children to be walking with the Lord, the more we will strive to that end. It is not easy, it is not fun sometimes, but it is worth it. Thank you for your transparency and truthfulness, you speak the truth of what we all experience in this "job", one that we longed for and love, even with it's ups and downs:)

Love you friend!