Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sponges On the Shoreline

I've been thinking a lot lately about life.

I am thirty-one years old and I have five children.  Yet I often feel like I'm still a crazy twenty year old with no clue.  I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. I feel like I am failing all.the.time.

I've been thinking about my parents.  How they taught me so much, but also not enough.  How they did the best they could at the time.  How I've always felt very loved, I knew what unconditional love looked like, but still craved more.

I think about what they could not save me from. How that bubble we'd all like to wrap our children in was as much an impossibility back then as it is now.  And I often wish it hadn't been. I often wish it had been real, that I could have been protected from the grit and mar of the world.

Maybe there'd be things I wouldn't have had to see.  Maybe there'd be things I wouldn't have had to endure.  Maybe I wouldn't have made terrible decisions at times. Maybe I wouldn't have scarred my soul as much as I did.  Maybe.

 

My kids are still so young. They are a whirlwind of energy, naivete, innocence and wonder.  They are yet unblemished, still so wide-eyed and searching, gullible and soft- thirsty sponges on the shoreline of the uncharted ocean called life.  I think about all the things that my husband and I are already failing at, and I worry about how it will affect them as adults.  Will we stunt their souls, abilities, or understanding of life?  Will our parenting leave them still quenching and hungry for more?  I've written about this before.  I have never stopped worrying about it since.

And yet, I know I can't be perfect. I know I am not even close.  I know that one of the most powerful tools I have in my parenting arsenal is prayer.  My daily prayer concerning my children is always, "Lord, please fill in the gaps where I fail."  Because I will fail a lot.  I already have.  I will never be the perfect mother.  My husband will never be the perfect father.  We each have examples that were set for us from imperfect parents as well.  It's our job to take the good examples and build upon them, and take the bad examples and learn from them- allowing them to urge us through the grind knowing it's not how we want to be.

I pray that I can always be convicted of this. That I can always be convicted of the selflessness parenting should display.  That if when I fail God will be there to smooth it over in some ways, making good come out of the bad, working all things for His glory and purpose.  I pray that when my children grow up, they will have the knowledge that I loved them as deeply and fiercely as I possibly could despite my failings and shortcomings, that I still do...and I pray that they will know how to take that love into their lives, into their relationships and express it there. 

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