children · motherhood

Maybe we should stop asking what’s best for our children

It’s been a horrible week for me. The kids were off for Christmas break and the school district decided to forget about Jesus when making the schedule. This week was filled with down time, no holidays and no place to run. The kids were inpatient, fighting and regressing from their lack of a schedule. I was on the verge of losing my mind. My confidence in my parenting skills continued to decline. I thought to myself, I’ve tried everything to please them, yet they are still rebellious, ungrateful kids. Sounds a lot like us…

God has done everything to please me. He has answered every prayer, given me the life that I had dreamed I wanted. Solved the problems I thought I needed solved. Like a child with training wheels, I felt safe in those decisions and answered prayers. And then came this week- the realization that my prayers and wants and desires were mine alone. That my idea of happy was mine. That I was too afraid and too stubborn to simply let go of what I wanted and see what God had for me. That house, that job, that City, that everything started to close in on me. We think we know better, but we simply don’t.

I found out that I really wasn’t very good at being a stay at home mom. That I don’t have a domestic bone in my body, (which by the way I already knew). That the quantity of time I spend with my kids is not as important as the quality. That I could never be a preschool teacher…

I learned that my prayers that centered around what was best for my kids were misguided. That I neglected to realize that we were a family unit with family needs, not just kid needs. That my husband and I were spiritually dry and suffering because of it. But I was so focused on my kids that I failed to see Jesus standing by just waiting for me  as I sifted through the mud…

I realized that motherhood does not define me, just like lawyering doesn’t either. I realized I mattered too. I realized that I am not like everyone else, that I have my own unique footprint. How did I come to realize all this? From a priest who simply blessed my daughter during holy communion and said “Jesus loves you.”

Those three words changed my life.

It may not be motherhood that you’re focused on. It may be your job, or lack thereof. It may be your new spouse or your retirement or your illness. It could be a lot of things. Whatever it is, you’re not looking wide enough. We’re focusing on such a small portion. We don’t open our doors wider for fear there may be more, there may be something else that God is trying to do in our lives.

If you’re stuck like me, maybe that is where you are. So narrowly focused, wanting to be close to Him but wanting more to please something or somebody else. So when you’re praying, expand yourself, think broader. Bring yourself to Him.

“No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the recruiter.” 2 Timothy 2:4

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