Sunday, May 24, 2015

I want to talk about kids.  Specifically, my kids.  The thing is, I have great kids.  I mean really great.  Not like the ones you see on television or in movies.  Better.  Polite, kind, genuine, kids.  Certified 100% authentic -  And I have four.  But, even beyond all that, they LOVE Jesus with their whole heart.  And they live it.  The kindness, politeness, genuine-ness that is I see each day is from that.  That love of Jesus.  Are they perfect?  Heck NO! :)  But they are all mine and they are incredible.  I'd be lying to myself if I tried to paint a picture of something that wasn't real.  We have plenty of not-so-great, I'd really like to strangle you, days.  Mornings actually.  Like trying to get out of the house on time for school.  With struggles about brushing hair, brushing teeth, not touching your sister, and forgetting to have permission slips signed.  Yeah, that happens.  It happens all.the.time.  But, when I sit down and really think, and I mean really think about what I have in my kiddos, I am often just stunned.  I don't do that nearly enough.  Sit and appreciate them.  Simply for who they are right now, who they are becoming, and how completely amazing that is.  And a deep part of me knows, they didn't get here by accident.  They didn't evolve into these fantastic beings.  That's where motherhood comes in.  The real kind.  Not the kind on talk shows or fancy articles in magazines.  The kind where you are in trench warfare each and every day.  Where you have to make the decision to let them fail a bit, not be their best friend and be the parent, not bail them out when they forget their homework/instrument/lunch, walk through mean kids at school, and let them get mad at you.  Really mad.  Because you were actually their MOM.  And that can be hard.  Gut-wrenching hard.  Take your breath away hard.  I don't like seeing my kids struggle.  Every part of me wants to save them from the hard things.  But, I can't.  And I don't.  I won't.  That is how they learn.  It isn't mean, it isn't calloused.  It is real.  And this is me, being transparent.  It is hard.  Sometimes it makes me want to cry.  BUT, it is about raising real adults.  Functioning members of society who don't feel entitled to things.  That know how to work hard and understand that every action they take has a consequence.  And that is important.  And you know what?  They are amazing.  They have thanked me for doing those things.  The older two, they are starting to get it.  Really get it.  They don't always like it, but they understand.  They grasp what I am doing.  And you know what else?  They still love me.  Still think I am pretty neat.  Still talk to me, tell me things, ask me to pray with them.  This journey, it is huge.  It is important.  It MATTERS.  Every mother faces challenges.  And there are plenty of times when I really want to walk away.  To let them have their way.  Believe me, many times - let's be honest, most times - it would be way easier to just give in.  Be their best friend who listens and sympathizes and helps plot revenge on that mean girl that told you your hair look funny or you aren't wearing the right shoes.  The thing is, they don't learn from that.  Is it easier, yes.  Better?  Not really. Instead, I listen, pray with them and show them a scripture about turning the other check and loving your enemies.  I ask them what Jesus would do.  Honestly, some days I do way better than others.  Because I am human and I got up at 4:45am that day and then spent some intense time in ministry teaching 100+ children who aren't mine but need me all the same.  And that is real.  But, so are they.  I can't give them any less because I gave away my compassion and mercy and grace to my kids at school.  So, I dig in a bit.  Whisper a prayer.  Sometimes close myself in a bathroom and cry for a bit. But, then I go out and try to do this mothering thing the best way I know how.  With Jesus to help and the Holy Spirit to guide it can be done.  And then, when I sit back and have that moment to marvel at the wonderful little lives I've been blessed and privileged to play a role in, I am blind-sided and overwhelmed at the magnitude of what I am doing.  Thank goodness I don't have to do it alone.  God is always there, always supporting and ready to help.  To guide, to lead, to catch me when I fall - and boy, can I fall!  We all have great kids.  Amazing kids.  We all are simply trying to do the best we can.  In the end, being a mom has no higher calling or great challenge on this planet.  In the end, mom, don't ever forget that you matter.