Thursday, May 19, 2016

Parenting and Life is NOT a 'Quick Fix'

Parenting is not some 'quick fix', 'new kid by Friday', 'Supernanny wraps it all into a neat little bow within the hour' kind of thing. I've often thought in the past that I must be a sore failure as a parent because my kids don't want to comply or act interested in something that interests me. I've learned that kids often are the first to raise their hand at church to help do something when asked by an adult, yet at home roll their eyes and 'huff and puff' when asked the same thing. That 'helpful and willing' kid that people see can be so disrespectful to mom or dad at home.

It's also interesting that as adults we too can be the same way. We lead kids at Sunday School in small groups with joy, patience and understanding, yet lose patience, yell and treat our own kids with disrespect. We treat 'difficult' or 'extra grace required' people we come into contact with with patience, yet 'bite the head off' of our spouse with one little misunderstanding or comment.

Maybe you, like me, often feel like a hypocrite because we've messed up or failed because we yell, scream or say things to our closest ones at home, yet act 'sweet as pie' at church or work. Maybe part of it is that we can 'let our guard down' at home, and just let the REAL emotions, fears, worries and feelings come out around those who we are the most vulnerable to. It's not an excuse to treat those we love badly, but I believe I'm not the only one who feels this way.

I'm not saying these things so we can pat ourselves on the back and be okay with our sins, but so that we can receive encouragement knowing that this life isn't easy, and we are not 'the only one' feeling this way. Most importantly we recognize that as Christ followers we are not meant to be perfect. If we hold ourselves to the 'perfect standard' we will always feel like a royal failure. Jesus gives us His grace DAILY. Maybe His plan is for us to always be in a place of feeling like 'we don't have it all together' so that we daily come to Him with hands of surrender saying 'LORD, I don't feel equipped or able to handle this', so that we make a declaration in a prayer of desperation that we NEED HIM.

 "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need."  --Hebrews 4:16

Aren't we supposed to be in a place of utter reliance and being in need of Him? Maybe God's plan was for me to be a parent (Whether it's one or nine kids) to teach me about grace, forgiveness, selflessness and trust. It doesn't feel 'peachy' a lot of the time, and I need to get rid of the 'quick fix parenting' or 'quick fix marriage' mindset. Life isn't a 'quick fix'. Life is a life long process of grace, patience, healing, forgiveness and trust, and it certainly isn't 'wrapped up into a pretty bow' by Friday. But, in the midst of the crazy I can truly know peace and joy, because I KNOW He holds me, and I do have a real hope. Not a 'blind hope', but a real hope in the provision, care, direction, leading and blessings from God when I walk in trust and obedience to His word.

"Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."  --1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


I Need Thee Every Hour - Annie S. Hawks (1872)

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, oh, I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
Oh, bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their pow’r when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
Oh, make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.

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