Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Parenting, Justified.

Today was a rough day.

Like, super rough.

We started our morning on the wrong foot...

In short... lots of 'no's', lots of yelling, lots of 'growling', some throwing, some spitting, some crying, and a couple prized possessions found a new place on top of the fridge for a couple days.

(I'll leave it up to you to decide who did what...)

Our car-ride to school was quieter than usual, though I did try some small-talk...

Me: Did you know that it's supposed to snow today?
Hannah:......

Me: It would be a good afternoon for some hot cocoa! How does that sound?
Hannah:....

And so on.

I love year 5.

Thankfully, I hear those conversations get better when they're in high school....

right? :-/

I kissed her and told her I love her before she got out of the car but how do you have a good day when THAT'S how it started?!

These days make me sad... for both of us.

I was determined... our afternoon was going to be so much better!

Cue; yelling, screaming, spitting, snot, sweat, bloody nose (result of floor-throwing fit)...

(I'll leave it up to you to decide who did what...)

(And don't think for a second that our preemie of a boy wasn't part of it all, too... monkey-see, monkey-do!)

Nap/ rest-time came early today.

I love year 5.

Our evening was better... snow-playing, cereal-eating, movie-watching, cocoa-drinking, pretend-playing.

Love those moments... cherish them.

Bed-time? 

I'll let you figure out how that went...

:-(

I love year 5.

Have you had days like this?

Are you a parent?

Then yes... yes you have.

I sat outside her room after I kissed her 'good-night' and listened to her sob...

My head knew that in reality, the part of her that missed her beloved 'heart pup' was real... but the part of her that was sleepy and defiant and 5 was fake.

Still... those sobs... my heart. 

:-(

So I stood outside her door... 

 I prayed that Jesus would give me patience tomorrow... asked Him to forgive me for losing it today.

I prayed that Jesus would teach me discipline tomorrow.. asked him to forgive me for my defiance today.


I started thinking about how often we complain about 'ages'... the terrible 2's, 5 years old, pre-teen, teen...

We vent about their impatience and defiance and tantrums and disobedience often.

I started thinking about all of the different things that play into those ages and stages...

and I realized that each and every age and stage has two things in common...

them.

and

us.

Them, as in the 2 or 5 or 15 or 21 year olds.... and Us, as in, the 25 or 35 or 45 year olds.

And as I stood outside her room,I fell into a mental, momentary panic as I thought about our day, one more time...

the yelling, the impatience, the disobedience, the defiance, the stubbornness...

her.

and

me.

Oh, no.

Year 30.

With Hannah's sobbing still audible in the monitor, I came downstairs and opened my Bible... I needed some guidance... some perspective about this whole parenting gig...

because today, I failed.

It didn't take long for my big Jesus to speak to my aching heart...

Ephesians 6:1... Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother that it may go well with you and you may live long in the land.

That's about it for kids... obey and honor your parents. Simple.

BUT...

Proverbs 22:6... Parents, train up a child in the way he should go, for even when he is old he will not depart from it.

AND...

Ephesians 6:4... Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

AND...

Colossians 3:21... Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

AND...

James 1:19... Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

Phew.

This parenting thing is hard, huh?

The standard is set high.

So many equations are running through my head...

In order to TEACH obedience, we have to FIRST obey.

In order to TEACH patience, we must FIRST practice patience.

In order to INSTILL wisdom, we must FIRST seek wisdom.

In order to TEACH honor, we must FIRST learn how to honor.

How many of those am I really good at?! How many have I mastered?!

How many do i work on every. single. day. ?!

Rough days will happen... and unfortunately, we are wired to remember the bad one's and not to savor each moment of the good one's.

Today was a rough day... not because my daughter is 5... and not because I'm 30...

because age doesn't matter.

Today was rough because we're both still learning... how to be patient and listen and obey and be disciplined and how to honor one another.

But at the end of the day, in this thing called 'parenting'...

age really does matter.

I am 30... and she is 5.

I will never, ever, in all my years of parenting be able to justify parenting out of anger or impatience or defiance... 

even though my human nature will want to...

and no matter how old she is.

And I will never, ever, in all my years of parenting... be able to do it 'right' every. single. day...

no matter how old I am.

Today? I did it wrong.

But you see, what God NEVER said was that parenting is easy...

Genesis 1:31... God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.

A built-in do-over.

He knew... He knows. 

Tomorrow?

Do-over day.

Lamentations 3:22-23... 
His mercies never fail, 
They are new every morning.
Great is your faithfulness!


20 comments:

  1. Yes, it must be going around because we also had this day. But we homeschool so it was a school work battle, defiance lost him a week of screen time and earned him some chores (I love year 7). I prayed all day "Lord show me what to do because I am lost," hopefully tomorrow he will.

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  2. Yes! You remind me of me. Thank God for do-overs. Thank God for grace. Thank God for forgiveness!

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    1. Amen Lauren!! Thank so much for stopping by and for your own honesty!

      Lindsay

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  3. So well spoken for parents of little ones at each age. I marvel at His mercies which are new every morning. And feel broken when I feel like I use up all those mercies by noon! God is good and gracious and merciful...may I parent more like Him!

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  4. It can be tough to be a parent. I have little patience and I'm trying to practice being more calm and patient with my toddler. It can be stressful. #SITSBlogging

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    1. It can be so tough... patience is one of the most challenging parts of parenting, in my opinion! It's always nice to know we're not alone :-)

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  5. This is such a beautifully written post! And yes, bad mornings happen at all ages. We had one this morning with my 14 year old. Fun. (Not!) Even though we didn't get it completely right today, we have another chance to try to do better tomorrow. :)

    Visiting from #SITSBlogging.

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    1. I'm LOVING those second chances, too! And 14!! Oh my... I can wait for that ;-)

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  6. Beautifully said. My girls are grown and you are very right. Bad days pass. I won't say they are easy as the teenage years come and will test your faith and patience but One day at time. Visiting from #SITSBlogging

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  7. Parenting is so hard. So thankful we have a chance to try again each new day...and keep growing and learning. Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from SITS Girls ~Krissa (http://www.morethanmundane.com)

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    1. I'm SO thankful for each new day... sometimes it's all I can do to make it ;-) Thanks for stopping by, Krissa!

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  8. I, too, like to remind myself of the Lord's words as I go through my days as a parent. Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of what really matters. I loved your post. Also love your blog name! :) #SITSBlogging

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    1. Thanks so much!! I'm glad you stopped by:-)

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  9. You perfectly captured the ups & downs of parenting a 5 year old. I am always floored by how much my son can frustrate me with his defiance and minutes later totally melt me with his sweetness. <3
    #SITSBlogging

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment... parenting is often times a double-eged sword, huh? It's always nice to know we're not alone ;-) Thanks so much for your comment!

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  10. Tee hee... i love the "I'll let you decide who did what"s. I've got five in my home these days and I definitely have to repent for my share of tantrums!!

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