Growing up

Today was one of those days where parenting is humbling work.  As we train Ellis to control himself, learn what is right and wrong, and make good choices, God is reminding me that all of this work is not complete in me.   How can I help Ellis manage his emotions when I can't deal with my own?  How do I teach him to share when I am clinging to my own stuff?   What lesson am I teaching him when I get frustrated when things don't happen the way I want them to?  As I nurture Ellis to grow in wisdom and stature, God is nurturing me.  I comfort Ellis while my Father comforts me.  And as I learn more about Ellis every day, I have the assurance that God already knows everything about me.  God is my perfect parent.  You'll find this family busy being raised together: Father, mom, dad, child.  There is no "all grown up" in this home.

Ellis and I both experienced our own meltdowns yesterday.  He was screaming and throwing himself down on the floor.  I warmed up a cinnamon roll for myself, sat down at the kitchen table with a scratch piece of paper and and scribbled out the following.  I needed this reminder, in writing, of what perfect parenting looks like:

His love reaches to the heavens.  
His faithfulness stretches to the skies.
He bends down to listen.
His yoke is easy and his burden is light.
All his ways are just.  
He does not treat us as our sins deserve. 
He is slow to anger.
He draws near to us.
He guards our hearts and minds.
His mercy endures forever.
He carries us close to his heart.
He has made us heirs.
He disciplines by discipling us.  
He does not withhold compassion.  
His rod and staff comfort us.

That's a lot of perfect parenting to live up to.  But these shortcomings remind me that the only perfect way to parent is to turn to my perfect Parent.  My failures lead me to the cross, time and time again. Perhaps after all, my imperfections are the very thing that God uses to demonstrate his unconditional love through me.

We're growing up together, Ellis and I.  There's a lot of training and discipleship to do.  A lot of sharing to learn, and coping with life when it's not going the way we like it.   The job is the same for both this mom and not-yet-two-year-old:  learning to imitate God as dearly loved children.  My prayer is that we'll share this goal in common, with God as our guide: growing into the image of our Father.  There's no better way of growing up than that.

1 comment

  1. Wow! This is a powerful and timely read for me! Thanks for being so heartfelt and honest about parenting.


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