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When I Was A Perfect Parent

I once was a perfect parent. Before I had children of my own.
When I was a Perfect Parent

I Was a Perfect Parent

As a teenager, one who obviously knew it all, I believed I would be a certain way as an adult. I was one of those people who believed I knew how to handle whatever life had in store for me. This included parenting.

*Insert slightly insane laughter here*

There is a meme floating around the internet that states: “I was a perfect parent. Then I had children.”

It would be funny if it weren’t so incredibly accurate. Too many people (me included) believe they’ve got it all figured out–life, fitness, parenting, their make-up; only to have reality kick them solidly in the solar plexus. My old friend, Reality likes to remind me of its presence regularly.

When I was still a perfect parent–living under my parents’ roof, wearing clothes they bought for me, talking on the phone (a landline!) they paid for; I swore I would never treat my children the way my parents treated me. I wouldn’t keep my children from doing what they wanted, make them do chores, or tell them no. I would be different. I’d understand them, and treat them with “respect”.

I’m sure God chuckled at my plans. My parents did.

When I was still a perfect parent--living under my parents' roof, wearing clothes they bought for me, talking on the phone (a landline!) they paid for; I swore I would never treat my children the way my parents treated me. I wouldn't keep my children from doing what they wanted, make them do chores, or tell them no. I would be different. I'd understand them, and treat them with

Before the birth of my youngest my niece and I spent some time sitting on a bench overlooking the Puget Sound. The sun was warm, the sky was clear, the seagulls were begging scraps of our lunches, and it was a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle we’d been dealing with for the last few months. Taking a few moments to enjoy the beauty the LORD has created, and to truly appreciate it helped to relax my anxious heart.

It also helped me to understand something about myself.

I’m not a perfect parent. In fact, teen me would spend a lot of time rolling her eyes at adult me. I might have thought my parents were strict, but they were nothing compared to how I am as a parent. Part of this stems from a moderate battle with anxiety, but not all of it. Simply put, my priorities have changed, as have my views.

God is the Perfect Parent

God has blessed us with three beautiful children, not to be perfect parents, but to teach them and train them up in what is righteous. Much to their dismay, that includes horrors like sweeping, making their beds, and cleaning bathrooms, and picking up toys. It also requires them to spend time with us, to not put their friends above the LORD or their family, and to forgive each other when we stumble.

Something else that comes along with this is the amount of freedom we allow our children to have. Our eldest is only nine, and regardless of how my husband and I were raised the world is a much different place today than it was twenty years ago. Yes, she can play outside without constant supervision, but there are rules that have to be followed, and consequences if those rules are ignored. This is a relatively new freedom for her, and I still have several bad moments where I want to keep her in the house away from any chance of getting hit by a speeding car (see, anxiety). I’m taking it a day at a time, and maybe I’ll be more relaxed when they’re visiting me in the retirement home.

The point is, there are no perfect parents on Earth, except God, and of course those who have never had children. We as a society (especially women) spend so much time judging the merits of one person over another that we seem to forget we’re all just stumbling along doing the best we can. Have some people lost their way? Yes, but that isn’t for us to judge. There are people in this world who have been called to help those who have fallen. Instead of casting blame and pointing fingers, it’s time for us to come together and build each other up, and to raise our own children with love, compassion, and grace.

 

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Faith, Fellowship, My One Word, My Walk

Heal My Heart, LORD

On January 31, 2015, my father passed away. In the last few months he had become someone I didn’t recognize–the man with strong convictions and an analytic mind had disappeared. In his place was someone who was angry, and emotional. In all my years growing up I can count on one hand the number of times I’d seen him cry. During the months leading up to his death his tear flowed freely.

He started making decisions he never would have before. His conversations stretched to the outlandish, and his understanding of right and wrong bled together. I made one of the hardest decisions I’d ever had to make, and it broke my heart.

Reading this, one might assume my father was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

He wasn’t.

My father, the first Hero I ever knew, was being destroyed by Cancer. It began several years ago with Skin Cancer, something the doctors treated, and we assumed had cured. Then, last year the doctors diagnosed him with Prostate Cancer. Again, he went through treatment, and it seemed to be working.

Only, it wasn’t.

Somehow during the treatments the doctors missed the cancer that had spread to his brain, his lungs, and from what I understand into his heart.

None of this was discovered until after his death.

My father knew something was wrong.

I feel responsible.

Even though circumstances kept us apart the final months of his life, he made sure I knew he didn’t blame me.

I wish I didn’t blame myself.

Nothing that happened was within my control, and I know God has a plan for everyone. I don’t know what His plan is, but I know I need to trust in His will.

My father is in a better place, or at least I choose to believe that God has welcomed him home. He isn’t in pain anymore, and he can see and hear again. He can once again enjoy all the things he’d missed out on as his body broke down.

Yet, I can’t help but feel guilt. People tell me over and over that I’m not at fault, that he didn’t blame me. I just wish God would help me to believe that as well.

I need strength to get through this. I need not only understanding from those around me, but from myself as well.

LORD, I pray for strength and healing. Lift my spirit up, and bring peace to my soul. Heal me from the inside, and grant me the forgiveness I can’t seem to give myself.

Sare

My Walk

Stomach Bug Blessings

My family and I have been battling the stomach bug for the last week. It started with our son (who turned ten months on the sixth), and is ending with my husband. I think I feel worst for him, because as a Marine he doesn’t get to stay home when his body revolts against him.

I found that even while I was sleepless from hourly trips to the bathroom, and sore from the dry heaves when my stomach was empty, I was grateful. I was blessed. 

God has blessed me with a hearty immune system so that even though I got hit with the flu, I got over it quickly. He has blessed me with a strong and loving husband, who went without sleep so he could care for my daughter and me. And God has blessed me with a home, electricity, running water, and all the things others don’t have. So while I felt miserable, I knew God had provided for me. I wasn’t sick, alone, living on the streets. I had a safe place to rest and get better. 

Somehow, that made me feel better. Even if I couldn’t keep anything in my stomach.

Blessings,

Sare