It’s 5:30am. I’ve been awake for two hours watching the dumbest treasure hunting movie, and I wish I could even remember the name of it. By the time I realized I only had an hour until I had to be up, I also realized I had no post for you today, so I thought it wiser to make some coffee and leave you for the weekend with something brave.
Parenting is wonderful, when it’s going well…and when it’s not…it’s damn near hell. I figured I could be blunt and use two words that are *technically curse words but they are biblical too, so forgive me if you are insulted.
(I know I’ve warned y’all before that while my soul is saved eternally, sometimes my mouth and mind forget that and revert back to colorful language.)
It’s joyful when you hold that precious newborn, even though you’re exhausted.
It’s painful when your darling is heartbroken.
It’s precious when they take their first steps.
It’s terrifying when they get ill…not just sick…but ill. Or you’re sitting next to a hospital bed due to an accident or a tragedy.
It’s beautiful when someone says your daughter looks just like you.
It’s awful when that child hates you.
Any one of these and a thousand more are possible if not probable experiences parents share. If you’re riding high from a post-toddler tantrum victory or recent high school graduation, or laying low on the floor in prayer and begging God for help right now…I’ve been where you are. I know how you feel. Sister (or brother for all my dudes that read), I am with you.
A neighbor of mine recently delivered their first new baby…a girl…
The balloons on the mailbox just bring me to tears every time I drive by.
I remember that time in our lives so clearly. I can see visions of moments in time.
I can still smell her sweet head.
Remember her feet and how they looked like little flipper paddles even at a week old. I remember holding her naked in her diaper, I was shirtless and just trying to feed this wee one…her bum in the palm of my hand and her little feet dangling as her floppy head nestled in my neck. I swear I just blinked and now she’s twenty.
Maybe I’m just exhausted and emotional because I have less than 24 hours to get my book manuscript finished and in between now and then I have three girls to take to prom.
But I know it’s more than that.
Any time you set yourself up as an “expert” at something, you have to look blankly and truthfully at your mistakes and misgivings. And even though I think I do a purdy good job at this parenting thing, I have made mistakes and some blunders along the way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…
No one…no one…NO ONE gets through this job of raising children unscathed. When you love someone so much, you invest so deeply, and you live it out for decades at a time, that kind of love involves risk. And risks in parenting, although far outweighed by benefits and rewards, are huge.
So today I am going to tell you to do something brave. Something that is a risk on your part but the rewards are worth it.
Ask the Lord for eyes to see.
Ask Him to let you see…
The good in your situation.
The things your children need help or work on.
The ways you can encourage them.
The reason for the struggles your child is having.
What you can do better, less, more of, or without altogether.
Ask Him to let you see a glimpse of the purpose for your child or for the problems or struggles.
Ask Him for wisdom with what to do with the things that He shows you.
I say that doing so is brave because to be honest, many times as parents, we really don’t want to see. There’s work to be done, errands to run, a project to finish, or just life to be lived. It’s busy, fast paced, and truthfully it’s frightening to be faced with some of the things we really need to do deal with.
And that’s why it’s brave.
In Jeremiah, the Lord is frustrated with people who have eyes to see, but don’t really look. And as parents we can busy seeing things, but we may be blinded by our own view. That’s why we need to ask Him for eyes to see. And then wisdom to do something with what He shows us.
Now don’t automatically assume he’s going to show you all kinds of mistakes and blunders you are making! But do be sensitive and listening for that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit and make adjustments as you hear.
“But you have God-blessed eyes—eyes that see! And God-blessed ears—ears that hear! A lot of people, prophets and humble believers among them, would have given anything to see what you are seeing, to hear what you are hearing, but never had the chance.”
They said, “Master, we want our eyes opened. We want to see!” Deeply moved, Jesus touched their eyes. They had their sight back that very instant, and joined the procession.
Lord, I pray you’d give every parent reading this eyes to see. Help them Lord accomplish the great work you have for them through their families by letting them have understanding and wisdom. Your Word tells us to call to you and you will tell us great and mighty things we do not know. Lord, we need your wisdom to get this task of raising up the next generation done in a way that blesses and pleases you. We need your clear vision and oceans of grace. Thank you so much for the brave parents who will pray today that you will open their eyes to see.
Much love my brothers and sisters. Pray bravely. Fight fiercely. Love deeply.