Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What if We Refused? (A Guest Post)

Today I am privileged to introduce my friend, Theresa, to you. She encourages us to build a heavenly vision for our homes and families at her blog, Heavenly Glimpses.
Theresa's been writing a series on intentional mothering, and I am confident her post today will bless you!
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 "Go hard on me, mom," declares eight-year-old, Robby, as we prepare to play one-on-one soccer in our back yard. I chuckle at his words for I know how much has changed in a few short years.

Just a few years ago I was holding back, running barely behind him as he kicked and darted toward the ball all the way up the yard to score a goal.  On occasion, I enjoyed hassling him, weaseling the ball away just to make him work harder and he'd complain that I was not going easy enough on him.

In just a few short years, he's grown and changed so much. He's more mature, able to control his emotions, and more athletically coordinated. We communicate, relate and laugh together and it wasn't even that long ago I sat up nights nursing and rocking him back to sleep.

One of those mid-nights, within the first week of bringing him home from the hospital, I had nursed him, changed his diaper, and swaddled him snug. When I went to lay him back down, he would not have it. As a new mother, I didn't know what to do for him. Weary and exhausted, I remember my anxiety rising that night. I had abruptly flung his blanket back open and re-swaddled him, then breathed deep and like a tide rushing in,  felt wisdom wash over me that would linger throughout my parenting years, not for one but for four children throughout infancy, toddlerhood, and into childhood:

Don't become frustrated, Theresa. This is just a season. You'll never have him this small again. Yes, you will lose sleep. It will be hard. But it will pass. These moments you'll find were gifts. Receive them.

I'm sure I have become frustrated over other issues, regarding children and sleep, over the past eight years, yet I cannot recall another night, hovering over an infant, in frustration over my sense of helplessness. Not one since that vivid internal monologue. And I've had many sleepless nights and those nights did pass. I encounter different frustrations and feelings of helplessness now in a whole new season and the never ending question remains, how do I choose to contend with those?
And I wonder if what made a difference eight years ago can make a difference today.

What if we refused? If we took a deep breath and decided we're not going to let weariness, frustration, and feelings of helplessness overtake our peace. We won't allow those emotions, that so easily creep in, to dictate our behavior. I wonder how it would change our parenting, how we see our children. 

Because we'll never have them as small and impressionable as they are now, ever again. Yes, we will lose sleep. It will be hard. But it will pass. What if these moments are gifts, even the hard ones? Will we receive them?

Today he dances with the ball over the winter withered grass, maneuvering fancy feet. He kicks the ball passed me and goes for the goal.

When we choose to see the bigger picture, the greater goal and desired outcome, maybe our frustrations become small. If we intentionally commit to accepting that it will be hard, that cultivating the lives of our children will take labor, sacrifice and perseverance, maybe we will bounce back quicker when we stumble - because we will.
 
 
"Good game, mom. That was fun." Robby exclaims. "Thanks for playing with me." And I think I also hear, "Thanks for being patient with me through the years. Thanks for your dedication, perseverance, and for believing in me. Thanks for upholding me with dignity and respect even though I'm smaller than you and dad. Thanks for laughing with me, and for loving me no matter what."

And I think about the little things that never really mattered. And the things that do.

Theresa is a wife and mother of four wonderful children. She is a stay-at-home-mom, whose passions are primarily with her family, writing, and in ministries that encourage mothers in this generation. Theresa has been published in MOPS International, MOMSnext e-zine and other on-line publications. Theresa authors Heavenly Glimpses blog, where she captures the heart of Christ through glimpses into the life of her children, marriage, and a humbly inspired heart.

20 comments:

  1. Great post! Just dropping in with the Women Living Well Wednesdays! I agree...I remember letting my son beat me on video games, now he totally cleans the floor with me! Love how he's growing more independent and making good choices, thanks to all that persistent discipline I had to give him when he was younger. Yes, we will reap if we don't faint!

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    1. Thank you, Heather, for your kind comment. It's encouraging to hear from another mother who has been there and can relate!

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  2. I shudder to think about what would happen if we refused. What does happen when we refuse? When we refuse to be gentle rather than lash out? When we refuse to be soft hearted? How many more precious moments would we enjoy if we only stopped refusing holy inconvenient moments.

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    1. Holy inconvenient moments...I like those words because it's true, all those inconvenient moments do make us holy. Thank you for your encouraging comment,Kim!

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  3. I totally agree. I love the Times when I seat with my oldest 12 to son. I've been his mother and all though that is what I am first l love watching our friendship develop also as he gets older. I am starting to see it with my 6 to daughter also. It is truly awesome!

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    1. Yes, I look forward to a friendship developing as mine gets older, too. It's exciting to see and anticipate the fruit of our labor. Thank you for commenting!

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  4. Honestly, my kids are teens now but for me, keeping the big picture in the forefront is the thing that got me through those difficult, tiring days of frustration. I can't say I manuvered through them all gracefully but keeping the end goal in mind, it helped me wade through. Still thinking about the guest post from Monday too!

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    1. The tidbits I receive from mother's, like yourself, of children older than mine are truly refreshing and encouraging. Your experience and words of wisdom will always be helpful to mothers just one step behind you.
      Thank you!

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  5. Amen and amen! Lord, help me remember this even with my teens. :)

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement here, Kim!

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