The moment they hand you that new baby…
The day they take their first steps…
The day they walk the stage at graduation…
All memorable, beautiful, life-altering moments where as a parent you feel that you have
significantly contributed to a life destined to change the world for the better.
And then there are the 9,487,624 moments of sheer misery, panic, and hard-core “what-the-heck-was-I-thinking-becoming-a-parent?” moments in between birth to launch.
I know. I’ve resigned myself to realizing that the 9 million number is multiplied by 16 in my case and I wonder what-the-heck-was-I-thinking all the time.
But there is a good ol’ fashioned Navy SEAL slogan and part of their creed that I apply in my life and although crass, it actually helps.
EMBRACE THE SUCK.
Sometimes, being a parent is just… messy. From wiping bums to cleaning vomit, homework, science projects, bullying, boyfriends, girlfriends, college shopping and getting dinner on the table to a bunch of exhausted kids only to realize tomorrow’s day is even crazier…well…it can be hard. And instead of complaining or freaking out or crying (well, sometimes I do a combination of all three but hey…I’m human) I have decided to just embrace it. Embrace the difficulty. The challenges. The freak out. The unrelenting waves of crazy and yet the real discipline and refining it is bringing into my life. My heart and my mind have never been the same since they laid baby Daly Kay into my arms 21 years ago and even just a few months ago, when Vaughn came into the world as my 16th child amidst all kinds of personal and professional craziness, I embrace the difficulties and see them for what they are.
They are the Lord’s way of making me into a better human. A better woman. A better mama.
And in case you think I’ve gone too far or that I’ve lost my biblical mindset, lemme tell you something, the Bible also tells us to embrace the trials of life and be refined…
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner. I Peter 4:12-13
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. James 1
These trials, these difficulties we face actually PALE in comparison to the ones our first century brothers and sisters in Christ were facing that gave Peter and James the reason for writing these words to them. They tell us just embrace it. Let the Lord use it. Be strengthened and stretched and refined in ways you never thought possible in the every day, mundane, and overwhelming trial that is parenthood.
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