Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Am I Doing?

I ask myself that question a lot during the week. I read lots of parenting books on discipline, homeschooling, healthy sleep habits, how to raise a grateful child, how not to raise a Christian wimp, blah, blah, blah.

But most of the time I'm just making stuff up. I don't know what I'm doing. I think most parents would say the same thing. We haven't done this before. We don't know what "normal" is. There's no training class for being a parent. And just when you think you have it "all figured out" with your first child, the second one comes along with a whole new personality, gifts, weak spots, stubbornness, attitude, physical and emotional needs, and the list goes on and on. And so again, we find ourselves making things up and adjusting our "head knowledge" to another human being's specific needs.

And sometimes I don't feel like it's worth it. I'd rather busy myself with other "tasks" (email, a book from the library, hiding in the closet) than focus on the toddler wildly blowing bubbles in his milk and thus it overflows onto the table and eventually the floor. I don't want to deal with the little blessing who has decided it was better to eat the paint than use it to paint a portrait of his wonderful mother. I want to not see the bloody wound in the back of my little boy's throat because he fell with a New Year's horn in his mouth. I don't want to listen to the preschooler who has been in bed for an hour-and-a-half chanting that he wants a drink, he wants a drink, he wants a drink, he wants a drink, he wants a drink (honestly I do not understand how he can be so persistent). I want to ignore the urine puddle around the base of the toilet that I removed only 30 minutes prior. I want to ignore that my little boy just screamed, "NO!" in my face when I told him it was time to pick up his Legos and get ready for dinner. I want to ignore those moments. I want to run away and hide in the van and watch a movie on the portable DVD player like they do in commercials. I don't want to be "Mom" because some days I have no idea what I'm doing.

I'm so thankful that God's Instructional Book focuses a little less on the tasks of parenting and more on the heart. In Deuteronomy we are reminded twice (6:6-9 and 11:18-19) to remember God's commandments and impress them on our children. We are reminded of how important it is to make that a daily thing not just on Sundays or Wednesday nights. We are also told many times in Proverbs (13:24, 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-15, 29:15, 29:17) how important it is to discipline your child and that if we don't it leads to death, not necessarily physical death but a spiritual death. And that having a disciplined child will "bring delight to your soul." Oh, how I pray that will be a consistent joy someday. We are also reminded in the New Testament (Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21) how important it is to encourage our children and to not "exasperate" them, or they will become discouraged.

A great place to find specific verses on parenting and the wonderful issues situations that it creates is Premeditated Parenting. I haven't read the book but the reference section is great! There are many encouraging verses on discipline, verses for your children to think about, specific verses for Dad or Mom, and more.

Sure, some days we may have no idea what we're doing, but the Word of God is never changing and can be the greatest reference for you. It doesn't give you the best way to potty-train, how to get your child to sleep through the night, or how to get the paint out of your child's teeth, but it does offer great encouragement and training that we need to reference when we don't know what we're doing. And prayer. Hopefully you have people praying for you as you raise your children, cause we need all the help we can get.

Do you have any special verses that you cling to when you want to go hide in the van and watch a movie? Do you have a hard time remembering to focus yourself and your children on the Word in daily situations as you raise your littles?


Anna said...

Thanks Jess! Couldn't have said it better myself.... I think I have at least one "I don't want to be a mother right now" moment every day!

Laurie said...

love this post! what a blessing for me today. Some days I feel like I'm just floundering here. I get great advice from people or books, but it's hard to know how to apply it sometimes.

Here's a little morsel (a verse as requested actually) that's helped me adjust to two little ones. "Love is patient." Hmm, I love Addie and I want to love her WELL, so I ask God to help me to do so by being patient with her.

Rachel said...

This made me laugh out loud- you're funny. As a parent or even a Christian sometimes, I tend to ask myself what I'm doing all the time. There's so many ways to go about things and books to read to help you get there. I sometimes just have to sit and know God will cover me and fill in all the places I don't even realize are imperfect.

Anonymous said...

Great post.