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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Chosen Parents. . .We Are

Tonight I had a chance to spend some time with a few ladies who are swiftly becoming precious to me.  We shared what was going on in our lives, had a chance to encourage each other and then prayed as well.  It was pretty awesome.

And it's funny how just a little time with friends, letting your guard down, being honest and getting real can give you some amazing perspective.

Tonight, that happened for me.

All of us ladies are moms, though in different stages of the process. . .some are grandmothers, one has teens through early twenties, and I bring up the rear with four kids from 7 through 17.  Between us four ladies, we have a LOT of kids.  And that equals a LOT of experience.

One of the moms was struggling a bit.  The rest of us listened with a great deal of empathy and complete understanding of where she's at and how she feels.

After we listened, each of the other moms shared an encouraging word that, really, was as much talking to everyone as to this one particular lady.  When it came time for me to offer my two cents, I paused, prayed quickly that whatever I would say would be helpful, and opened my mouth.

Sometimes (TOO often!!), I am in control of my mouth.  Sometimes, however, I keep myself in check enough to let a slightly (ahem!) greater wisdom come out.  Thankfully, this was one of those nights.

I just felt that God wanted to remind this precious, struggling mom that she was hand-picked for these kids. . .they aren't just a blessing to HER. . .SHE is a blessing to them.  God knows her faults, shortcomings, fears, and her strengths and gifts.  With this complete knowledge in hand, He chose her to parent her four beautiful, sometimes challenging, always amazing kids.  He foreknew her choices, mistakes, successes and heart as she worked through this 'raising kids' thing.  He knew.

Somewhere in the midst of my trying to encourage her with this, I stopped talking to her and began talking to myself.  I needed this reminder.  I needed this encouragement.  I needed to know that I was supposed to be parenting my children.

I used to oscillate between feeling competent as a parent and feeling totally ill-equipped.  Despite 16 years of on-the-job-training, I spend far more time feeling ill-equipped now than I did at the beginning!  It is because I now have teenagers?  Because I understand the import of the job parents are tasked with doing more deeply?  Is it because I am more aware of my own weaknesses than I have ever been?

I don't know.

But it does help to remember that my kids aren't just a gift to me. . .I'm in their life for a pretty important purpose, too.

Though I don't always parent the way I want, and I do have a lot of apologies to makes some times, I am learning to trust that I was handpicked for this rag-tag bunch of cheeky monkeys. And, despite my shortcomings, my unshakeable love for them and desire for their happiness is a pretty powerful asset.

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