"Your body is the first thing any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.... To be a Mother is to be the sacrament - the effective symbol - of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home." from Bed and Board, Robert Farrar Capon

Sunday, November 3, 2013

On the Flipside

Then there's the other side of that last post about raising your older children, the awesome part, the part where you begin to see your children growing up into people, people with unique personalities and gifts, and you find yourself really enjoying their company (most of the time ;) and actually missing them when they're not around. Not to mention, they can team up and do the whole dinner clean up together!

And there are those moments, like when your sixteen year old son sitting beside you offers to give you a neck rub, and tells you something he heard in the sermon that you hadn't realized he had the depth to appreciate or understand and your heart inwardly leaps for joy; or when you're making apple pies with your fourteen year old daughter, one peeling and cutting the apples, the other making the crusts, and you are suddenly surprised by the fact that you are in the middle of a really interesting conversation with your own daughter, and laughing, and having a good time.  Who could have imagined this? And you get a tiny glimpse of the deep friendship, God willing and we live, and He grants, you will have with him and with her in the years to come.

Those times make you realize it's all worth it. The pain. The conflict. The battles. The nights of crying and praying like mad that God will win their hearts and give them a fear and a love for Himself of their own that will keep them through the difficult years to come.

And you smile when you think that, as far as your relationship with that "teenage" child goes, the best is yet to come.

Friday, November 1, 2013

More on Deadness

Speaking of being killed all the day long (at least Emily was), there's nothing that will do it like training older children.  That's my take on it this morning anyway. 


"Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter," 

Psalm 44:22


True, training younger children can do it too, but it shifts into high gear around the teenage years it seems. And if you've got both? Little kids and big kids?? Forget it. Dead. 

Dead that is, if you are counting yourself as that sheep for the slaughter today, picking up the cross lying there, the one of loving your kids, bearing with and battling their attitudes, their arguing, laziness, ignorance, pushiness, sensitivity, ungratefulness, etc., all while nimbly avoiding the wooden stool your toddler is constantly moving around your feet, for one more day.

I mean think about this. You could just walk away. You could just say, you know what? forget it! I'm done telling you this for the two hundredth time. I'm done putting up with you, dealing with you, trying to do my job and drown your old Adam and being pulled down under by the neck with you, every single day. Done. Why should I suffer you anymore???

(That's why the children of this world are now saying "Done" before they even start.  They're not going to suffer for a child's sake. Nope. They ain't gonna be nobody's fool. Nobody's. They are their own. Their will be done. They have their reward.  Besides, who in their right unbaptized mind would sign up to be "killed all the day long?"  With Christ nowhere in the picture, I certainly wouldn't. But for His sake I am now a fool.)

Yes, as Christians, we have another story. We are not our own. We have been bought with a price. 

For Christ's sake, and by the grace of God, we will suffer the ones God gives us. Year, after month, after day.


So as to that young adult you're bringing up. Look at all the shortcomings, failings, and downright disobedience of that child, and take a step back, calm your soul, breathe, ask God to help you to be tenderhearted and forgiving to him or her, and confess your impatience, receive forgiveness one more time, remembering how Christ unceasingly loves and suffers with you, and then get back to work.  Some of the hardest work there is in this life.

When your teenager walks in the room calmly (*cough*) show him or her the toothpaste spot that's been sitting on the bathroom floor for a week, and instruct them once more to clean. it. up.  
And that goes for a lot of things.

Yes self. I'm talking to you. 
Let the slaughter begin. 

God's peace, fellow sheep.