Looking North…

A few weeks back a blog reader messaged me with these words, “You have a very wise and beautiful heart.” Such sweet words to cherish even from a stranger and flattering to know that someone sees wisdom in my ramblings. Sometimes I wished my day to day reality resembled the heart of a wise and beautiful soul. It’s not easy and the last few weeks I find myself searching for direction in all things parenting and family. I have been given this amazing gaggle of children yet someday finding the strength to meet all their needs, prepare them for what is to come, guide them in their attitudes and behaviors and perhaps even find a moment or two to have some fun is so challenging.

How do we train and grow our children? How do we show them that having siblings and two parents who want to grow alongside them is a gift? These are the tough questions of late. How do I as a Mother nurture them with a heart like Jesus? Over the past few weeks I have prayed for a biblical playbook to fall from the sky and hit me square on the head.  I have prayed for patience and loving words. I want to be that parent of rich understanding and grace.  This afternoon I have been pouring through books such as Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp and the Explosive Child by Ross Greene.  Bob is doing the same and we are recommitting ourselves to the difficult task of parenting with less grumbling and more faith.  Just yesterday I remarked that it made no sense to me that God would send me half way around the world to fall in love with children in need to then not allow me the greater strength and knowledge it was going to take to parent through the storms we are feeling here at home. Yes some days there are storms.

 Sometimes we only showcase the beauty and perfection of our families. We share the fun, the bounty and the pictures of all our children get to do, but what if more of us shared the pain that sometimes comes with guiding and teaching the challenging or hurting  child? More than anything at this stage of life I want to be authentic, approachable, raw and real and I want my life to reflect my turning north toward God in all things frustrating in this life.  Right now my children need more grace and less grumble from me. They need to see us as parents moving further away from self-centered grumbling into Christ centered gratitude in ALL things.

So this week I will remember that God has a purpose for the pain. He has a plan for all we endure. He will use the hunger for change and the desire to see our children through tough times to guide us. I will choose to love my children more, give them more grace with the hope that they will see that we as parents need grace too. They are worth the fight. God is patiently working… These roadblocks are God’s agents of change.

I found this to be very helpful this morning:

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

When my children were young, I wondered why the word “old” was in Proverbs 22:6.  Now I realize that when our children are young, it is the season of life when we train and train and train and train and train.  We sow for a very long time and MUCH later we reap.  Our consistency and perseverance during the younger years is exhausting, but it is worth it!  Time passes so quickly!  You will reap in a season to come, but now you are in the season of sowing and training.  Keep up the good fight!  If you need additional encouragement, the book of Proverbs was my go-to book when my kids were toddlers.

I hope each of you have a week filled with grace and His assurance…