Saying "I'm so busy" is something I'm trying to take out of my communication to friends. Who isn't busy? Everyone I know has a plate full of tasks, relationships, deadlines, conflict, activities...you name it. I am not busier than other people, but I do know my schedule is ever changing because my kids' lives have gotten more complicated.
Driving back and forth to three different schools, going to volleyball tournaments in another city, baseball practice, track meets, and random appointments that pop up for each of them can overwhelm me. Some of you may not believe me, but I'm pretty amazed at my scheduling organizational abilities. I've only forgotten to pick up one kid this whole year.
Amid all of the changes in schedules and activities, I'm seeing more and more the importance of staying focused on our parenting goal. From the beginning we desired to teach our kids to love God and love people. That is the simple truth. Of course there are smaller objectives under the huge goal, but to boil it all down and take out the fluff, that's it. Love God. Love people.
Having older kids leads to deeper conversations, more difficult questions, differing opinions. Esther wants to make her own way, but at the same time, she is devoted to our family. Kyle dreams of doing something huge to affect great change for those who are distressed in our world. Morgan takes on the feelings and emotions of those around her through empathy and compassion. Carah speaks truth to peers with love and boldness and they listen to her.
How do Chad and I continue to challenge them to dig deep in knowing God? To trust what they have heard about Jesus' character as they see injustice all around them? How do I struggle to not take it personally when they have different ways to process a conversation? What does it look like to cultivate friendships with our children that we can have eye to eye, heart to heart, brain to brain, mutual, adult relationships with them when they reach adulthood? Am I creating a home environment that provides safety in expressing different opinions than mine? Are Chad and I being intentional enough in this new season of parenting? Do we talk with them enough? Do we pray with them enough? Do we listen to them enough? Do we show them love in a way they understand enough?
My heart is overwhelmed.
What I've discovered in this new season is a different weight of loneliness. Please hear me say this is not due to some sort of relational failure on the part of my community. But, I feel as if I am forging the way for the younger parents around me because our church is full of young people. Some of my close friends are pregnant. Pregnant. *Shudder* Most of my friends are considering where to send their kids to school, or how to get them to sit down in a restaurant. They are praying for their kids to give their hearts to Jesus. They have to give baths and wipe butts. I love sharing my experience with them. And, I'm thankful I'm not there anymore.
But, figuring this stuff out as I go is challenging, confusing sometimes, produces a new sort of loneliness.
I will wait on Jesus, trust Him for guidance in seeking understanding, and believe that He will give Chad and me wisdom when we ask.
They are worth the challenge, whatever it may bring.
|Photos by the lovely Laura K. Moore|
I've been working on purpose statements in the major areas of my life. I haven't shared this with anyone except Chad, so I'll just go ahead and jump right on out there and share it on the internet. Seems safe enough. This is my purpose statement as a mom:
My desire is to teach Esther, Kyle, Morgan, and Carah to love God and love people through word and deed. I will pray for them through their daily lives and through hopes and dreams for their future. I will seek to know their personalities, strengths, weakness, love languages so I can parent them as individuals, not as a group. My desire is to keep our home a place of refuge from the stresses of peer pressure, school, and worldly turmoil.
If you haven't thought through your own personal purpose in various aspects of your life and formed it into a working statement or statements, I challenge you to do so. It will keep you focused as life brings chaos.
My heart will continue to ponder the humongous responsibility of parenting. I will continue to petition God to establish in my children a deep love for Him and a deep love for people. Prayerfully, He will use Chad and I to train them up in the way they should go.