Thanks so much to my friend Kristen Orr for a good reminder of the proper perspective on parenting. It is so good I’ll take the liberty to repost it here.
Sometimes the best lessons we can learn are from our kids. This morning I had my whole day planned out. We had two errands to run before heading over to a friend’s house to get together. As anyone can attest getting three kids (or any number of kids) out the door is not quick or easy. Well as with any day, it did not go as planned, but better. My first change was driving my husband to the park and ride so that he could pick up his bus that takes him to DC each day. The kids and I got home, ate breakfast, and prepared for our outing. I proceeded to make sure that each of the kids were ready to head out the door. Of course, I asked each of the kids to gather a toy to share with their friend. Mary gathered her two dolls and a purse. David insisted on bringing his legos, a set that was not built yet. I kindly and politely asked him to bring something other than legos suggesting even his new shark puppet, Sharky. Thankfully, my son is just as strong willed as his mommy is and vetoed my idea. I could say that I was calm and patient but my frustration was increasing quickly as the minutes were ticking away. Slowly those two errands were turning into one and then turned into zero. As I was on my march over to tell him sternly that it was time to go, something caused me to pause. As I stood outside his door and watched him, my heart was became reflective and instantly changed. I decided to pick up the pieces of my morning and start at the best place I could think of, my morning devotion time. I went to my room and picked up my Bible. As I was sitting there, praying and reading, David ran to me with Sharky in hand and climbed on my lap. His words began pouring out…”Mommy, I was praying about which toy to bring and I should not bring my legos. God told me to bring Sharky. I am going to listen to Him.” I just stopped because I knew God had just worked in my little boy’s heart in a way that my forcing would never have worked. He learned a life long lesson that will stick with him much longer than yelling or forcing his hand.As I reflect upon my own son’s lesson I realize the power in the lesson for myself as well. First, of all God teaches us in his own timing. Sometimes we have to step back and wait for God to share His words and wisdom. The other lesson I gained was I need to step back and allow God to parent my children. He is the best parent and the best lessons I can learn are from Him. It is precious to watch your children gain understanding and wisdom in their own relationship with Christ. But it is even more wonderful to know that God, the perfect parent, is caring for my kids.