15 Feb “Just work on your assignment; you don’t have to plan the lesson too”
Those are the words my husband texted me this morning. Whether he intended to or not, he spoke volumes to my heart. That one powerful, heart changing, mind freeing comment gave me a complete perspective shift.
For those of you who know me, whether through my blog, or fitness videos, or through Beachbody Coaching, you know that I have six kids; aged 6-18. Our oldest son KC is in college, and our youngest son Bradley is in kindergarten. There is a broad spectrum of parenting styles and roles that I play. The longer I’m a mom and the older I get, the more I realize there is so much to learn to be the kind of woman, wife, mother, friend, follower of Christ that I strive deep in my heart to be. The older my kids get, the more I want to really drive home all the points I’ve brought them up with, and the more I realize they need a different style of parenting. Less instructing, more mentoring, more listening. Less telling them WHAT to do, and more providing guidance as they try out their own decision making skills. HONESTLY: this is SO difficult to do!!!!
When they were little I could help solve their problems and point out to them what God desires to teach them in that situation and they TOTALLY listened. They believed because they believed in me, and I was their mommy, and I explained it in a way that made sense to them. God was real to them because I showed Him to them as we walked through our days, and by loving Him openly. Life and other kids were mean to them at times, but home was a safe haven.
And then they grew up. And their life experiences were different than my life experiences. Their struggles were struggles that I couldn’t relate to because my teenage struggles were completely different. We had been on the same life road together, holding hands, learning and growing together; and somehow as they got older, they began to take their own road – a “Private Road” and my only access to this new road is by invitation by “the owner” only. Was our road together really as short as that? As they travel this new road, I can only pray they invite God to go this leg with them, but now solely trust Him to relentlessly pursue them just as He pursued me. It’s now on my kids to take the tools they’ve been raised with and try to awkwardly use them themselves, hopefully more and more with each year. Tools that at times feel too heavy to use for their small, inexperienced hands but that only provide useful the more they practice.
As I had to let go and let God become more real to them (I still am not really great at this, truth be told), I beat myself up at times; “Did I say enough?” “Should I have said it differently?” “Did I explain it in a way that made sense to their brain?” “Was I a good example to them?” “Did I show God’s attributes properly so they too will desire to follow Him?” Inwardly I am tough on myself. Not because I think I’m going to be that one human who will be perfect (shudder at the pride of that thought) but as much as it depends on me, my hearts desire is to be a good example of what I believe, Who I believe in, and what Christ taught, with His help. But its a weird thing to realize that my kids who are as close to my own flesh as can be (even those who don’t share my genes) are going to make choices and walk paths that are foreign to me, and even paths I wouldn’t want them to take….as they find out who they are – APART FROM ME. gulp.
Maybe you read that and say “Duh” and I might have even thought that when they (and I) were younger. However, now that its here, and they are becoming their own people (whom I love dearly) I am learning that my role has changed dramatically in their lives – I need to shut my mouth much more than I ever had to when they were little, pray fervently, and allow them to fail if they must to find out who they were designed to be, always providing the safe haven of home and “Mom” no matter where their path takes them, and trusting God to be God to them right where they’re at. To provide counsel when they ask. To love them unconditionally. To go back to BEING an example in deed, and not as much instructional word as in the little kid days.
To just “work on my assignment”, and trust God to provide the lessons.
For all of us.
In Relentless Pursuit of Excellence,