Thursday, September 20, 2012

Not a Know it All

Today I was reminded again that parenting is NOT for sissies. I was reminded of how much parenting has changed me. I was reminded of what I have learned being a parent...

I've learned that I don't know nearly as much as I think. Parenting has a way a humbling you.

I've learned that my parents knew way more than I thought they did. Especially when I was a teen or in my young 20s and knew it all.

I've learned to give my parents grace. You really don't know until you try. They did the best they could while relying on the Lord.  Funny, that is just what I am trying to do too. They did a good job. The results speak for themselves. Not perfect, but done well.

Meres first time with shoes on. She loved them.

I've learned that no matter how hard you try, you can't protect your kids from everything. Little things like scraped knees. Bigger things like hurt feelings.

I've learned that I am not in control of everything. Life is not a controlled test course.

I've also learned that God is in control. It's called sovereignty. God is sovereign over the small details and the huge happenings.

I've learned that our most reliable form of protection is God Himself. My shield and defender.

I've learned that immunizations hurt you just as much as it hurts them. Maybe more. Their brave faces, and the shock, and the "why are you letting them hurt me?" It made me cry.

I've learned that a soft mama's heart involves tears. Maybe its just hormonal-because I have definitely cried more since I've had kids. Maybe its empathy and sympathy. No one loves these kids like I do.

I've learned that God loves these kids more than I do.

I've learned that I don't know everything, though I certainly have an opinion on just about everything. But my opinions need to be held with grace and humility. And sometimes my opinions need kept between me, myself and I.

I've learned that not everyone agrees with the parenting decisions I've made. And that is okay. Mr. Hippie and I are accountable to God for how we raise our kids.

I've learned that I don't agree with all the policies of my parents. But I can see their heart behind their decisions. And I can agree to disagree in a polite and respectful manner.

I've learned that different parenting styles are just different-it isn't a commentary or a judgement.

I've learned that boys and girls are totally that Mars and Jupiter thing. Boys are busy and physical. Girls are emotional basket cases concerned with dresses and shoes and princesses.

I've learned that each child is different-whether boy or girl. They have unique personalities, learning styles, feelings.

I've learned what works for one child, or even 3 children, doesn't work for the other.

Playing with the velcro is the best part of wearing shoes.
I've learned that sometimes parenting is easier if you just wait. Kids will do things when they are ready. It isn't on my time table.

I've learned that our kids are born sinners, but they are also born with soft hearts. It is my most important job to model all aspects of God's love to them.

I've learned that parenting can bring out the sinner in me-more than anything else. And that keeps me coming back to God for grace, forgiveness, and change.

I've learned that some kids (i.e. Meres) are determined to eat their peck of dirt early in life. And they survive.

I've learned that nothing makes me feel more helpless than an unexplained fever. Trying to figure out why...running through all the options. Is it teeth? A bug? Infection? Allergy flare up?

I've learned that I can't do it all, so I am always going to pick my children, homeschooling, and my home over anything else. This is the most important thing right now. Everything else is peripheral.

I've learned that I want serving God to be important to my kids. So I have them serve alongside me in many ministries including hospitality and Bible Club.

I've learned that kids say the darnedest things, at the worst times. You must laugh, or you would cry.

I've learned that kids can really embarrass you. And it is best to just go with it and let it go.

Aren't they the cutest little things?

I've learned that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That applies both for the parent and the child.

I've learned that I allow my kids to do somethings that others don't do. And I don't let them do some things that others do. Sometimes it is a matter of what I feel is right or wrong. Sometimes it isn't black and white.

I've learned that I am scared stiff of my kids choking to death or drowning. This does not make me cut all their food uber small. It does give me "jump out of bed" nightmares, and it does make me very vigilant around water. (going to the beach is not a relaxed affair)

I've learned that sometimes I have to be the one to give my kids a (figurative) kick in the butt to go farther and longer. I've learned that sometimes that kick in the butt is just to be their most enthusiastic cheerleader.

I've learned that babies bounce. They are resilient little buggers. Thank God!

I've learned that I am totally not into kid's birthday parties. I am not into decorating or favors. Just not my thing. And the parties bring out the worst of all involved parties. (Pun intended) Whining, selfishness.

I've learned that vacations with kids are not anything like vacations with just adults. Kids need breaks. Kids aren't into all the big stuff that we deem important.

I've learned that my kids love me. Unconditionally. They want me. My attention. My love. That's all.

I've learned that I don't deserve that love. I am so grateful for it. I am blessed to be a parent!

I've learned that what I have yet to learn would make a much longer list...

How has parenting changed you? What is the single most important lesson you have learned? Leave me a comment.

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