February 16, 2009

Current State of Motherhood

Owen is newly 4.  He’s a little boy now and we’re dealing with little boy attitude.  After grieving that the toddler years are fading, I look at the task ahead and feel overwhelmed at times.  I find myself currently bogged down with the enormous task of training up a child in the Lord.  At times I feel as if I’m drowning….and I only have one child!  I’m learning though, that having an only child has major difficulties that having several children does not have and vice versa.  When I was sharing with a mentor of mine, she reminded me of the fact that really, if most moms had the chance in their busy days to be frank, they’d say they felt they were drowning at times too.  So here’s my heart, where I’m at and I just pray that the Lord can encourage us through each others experiences.

“I will never eat cupcakes again and I will never eat pancakes. I want nothing ever again.”

This morning, mind you 7 am, Owen is up on a chair helping me make pancakes.  As I’m adding the ingredients to the blender, Owen spots the cupcakes left over from Valentines Day and asks, “Mom, can I have a cupcake?” 
I responded nicely with, “Owen, we don’t eat cupcakes in the morning. Actually no one eats cupcakes in the morning, not just you.”
And Owen’s response (with pursed lips and his head cocked down, glaring up at me), “Fine, I will never eat cupcakes again and I will never eat pancakes. I want nothing ever again.”

What in the world is that?  A small part of me laughed inside at the way he responded, but really, it shined such a light on his heart.  Up until about 6 months ago, our discipline was around more behavior issues but over these last few months, his attitude has been entering in with some disrespect at times. In our home, attitude is a huge part of raising Owen.  Yes, correcting behavior is important, but their attitude is such a refection of their heart and what ultimately shapes their character.  Now’s the time to nip this in the bud.  I know, myself included, that sometimes we’re just so exhausted with constant disobedience, but this is where I have to daily depend on the Lord for His strength to work through me. Because this is what is so important in raising our children, getting to their heart and pointing them to the Cross.  As an adult, I fight against the flesh every day and fail daily when I choose the flesh over my new life in Christ.  But for Owen, all he has is flesh. And it’s my job to teach him that it is a choice to not live in it. 

...this is what is so important in raising our children, getting to their heart and pointing them to the Cross.

I pray daily that the Lord would capture Owen’s heart.  And only the Lord can do that.  But I can be a part of pointing him to the Cross.  And part of that in these early years is getting to their heart on a daily basis, not just teaching them to be robots to our commands.  This has been a big challenge for me, I struggled for the first year with not having a stern voice when it came to discipline, and now having worked on that, Noah and I are headed into this next phase, always changing, and God willing, seeing the fruit. 

My mentor reminded me that raising children is a process.  We can’t set our selves up for victory if we are expecting them to one day get it and then we go on to another issue.  No, rather realizing that we need to be flexible and take one day at a time.  The task looks overwhelming but sometimes the fruit takes days, months and even years before we see the fruit of the time we invest in these little lives. 

Working with the attitude is going pretty well at the moment, being consistent is always the means to a quicker victory.  By not tolerating the attitude and disrespect, we are showing them that as their parent, this is not aloud or accepted in our home as well as it does not honor God.  It’s been a good reminder to check my focus, how am I spending my time and being careful not to fill my time with too many other things.  As a parent, I need to be investing in his heart.  That’s my calling right now and that is an important one.

Would love to hear your thoughts or things you’ve learned through your successes and failures.  Praise God that he covers our mistakes.  I know I sometimes forget that the Lord is here to help me and that it’s not all about me and my effort.  If it was, He wouldn’t get the glory. 

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