Because I want to be intentional about expressing my gratitude even when I don’t feel like it…
Day 24: I am a terrible parent some days.
Being a very insular person from a pretty insular upbringing, having a family has challenged my default setting of being by myself. The added drudgery of running household, having high but attainable expectations consistently, and being present all the time wears me out. On top of that, being in education is exactly the same as being a parent if you are doing it right; so I rarely run into a free space or free time where I am not upholding some principle or demanding some excellence or walking the fine line of loving discipline.
It wears me out.
The great thing about parenting though? Seeing the fruit of your labor. Watching your kids blossom into little people who make wise decisions (sometimes without any input from me or dad). Experiencing life through another set of eyes or two or three. Learning to feel what they feel and act accordingly in their best interests. Having my kids take a little ownership here and there.
Because of who I am and what I am accustomed to, I also appreciate the evolution of self that I have experienced. When God is in the picture, being set in your ways is not really a viable option. I have had to dig down deep and make some different choices about who I am and who I want to be, looking long and hard about what those aspirations mean to my family. I have had to trash some unrealistic dreams and focus on a self created out of love. I have had to admit when I am wrong, to myself and also to my kids. I have had to rethink my entire life.
I could not do that without the Holy Spirit leading me and knocking on the door of my otherwise hardened and smart alecky heart. A bonafide know-it-all, I have had to admit that I don’t know anything at all. And it opened me up to a different world of mothering and loving and living that, if I did not have my own kids, I think I would have missed in this life.
So today, I thank God for my kids. Without them really knowing it, God uses them to make me better as a human being. Children are gift from God at every stage of life because at stage they build your character and give you a full on, every day lesson in having the fruit of the spirit. I hope that as I grow up in grace, I am able to keep imparting wisdom that they can always come back to.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Psalms 127:3 KJV
(Photo credit: http://www.themodernnomad.com/gratitude/)