Kids Surrounded by Prayer
Do you ever feel like the day you finally get this "parenting" thing down, your kids will be in college, or worse, in their late 20's?
Just when I think I've got them pegged, they change and evolve. Old problems fade, and new ones arise. It's like my kids are moving targets, and all I can do is learn a few lessons along the way and enjoy this wonderful journey.
Parenting my three boys has been one of the greatest joys AND challenges in my life. Some days I feel like a rock star, while other days I flounder. As the years fly by, I wonder if I am truly giving them what matters most. Will they grow up to model integrity, compassion, and empathy? Am I raising them to be Christian men of faith with a passion to do good in the world?
So here is where I have come to find peace...I know I will make mistakes, but my biggest mistakes are also my biggest chances to grow. When Jackson was one and a half, he loved to climb on the vanity and sit in the sink. He would stare at himself in the mirror watching intently as he made all kinds of silly faces. I started locking the door because I feared he might one day fall and get hurt. My fear was realized the day I forgot to lock the door. As I walked by carrying laundry, I saw Jack sitting on the vanity smiling proudly at his reflection in the mirror. I made the choice to put the laundry basket back in the laundry room and then scoot across the hall to get Jack off the counter. It took 10 seconds, but I was too late. In those few seconds, Jack fell backwards off the counter landing solidly on his head suffering a concussion and a fracture to the skull. Undoubtedly, this was one of the worst moments of my life. Guilt resided in my heart for for weeks. I remember Fr. John saying emphatically, "You are a great mom. Accidents just happen." I had to come to peace with myself and let go of the guilt, but I couldn't do it alone. It was through many tears and lots of prayer that I finally put that mistake behind me. However, it taught me to let God be God, and to know that He is in control when I cannot be. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
And then there's this: You don't have to do everything right as a parent, but there's one thing that you cannot afford to get wrong. That one thing is prayer.
"You can never be a perfect parent, but you can be a praying parent."
Nothing will give you a higher investment. Pray for character, humility, Godly wisdom, direction, good choices in friends and a future spouse, and most importantly, a desire to know God.
Prayer turns ordinary parents into extraordinary parents with the ability to shape their kid's lives.
Help me pray for your child.
Beyond the Comfort Zone
When we're completely honest, most of us know people in our lives we've had trouble loving. Sometimes, this can happen in our own households.
Just this morning, I was refereeing a dispute between Jackson and Andrew when after settling the issue, Jack said to me, "How can I be kind to Drew when he is not kind to me?" So I told him that God tells us to love others as ourselves without conditions, and He even tells us to love our enemies. Jack responded, "But that is SOOO hard!" And boy is this not true?
We know our greatest instructions from God are to love him and to love our neighbor, but our differences and various circumstances can make getting along difficult-to say the least. It's human to fall short of this greatest commandment, but it's not reason to stop trying to follow God's commands. Think about the situations where you feel challenged to show understanding and kindness to others. Strive to honor God and grow spiritually by intentionally loving those you struggle to love. When your kids see you make this effort, they'll do the same.
It's easy in adulthood to get cozy in circles of friends and not stretch out our arms in grace to others. It can be downright scary to go outside our comfort to love others we might not necessarily connect with easily. Give it a try and take your kids along for the adventure. The relationships you'll build along the way will enrich and bless your life.
About Kadi Strong
I am a lover of the word y'all. I eat oysters and crawfish. I grew up on sweet tea and gumbo. I am a southern girl at heart! Much of my childhood was spent in Lake Charles, LA . I graduated from the University of Texas in Austin, and thus my fingers naturally make the longhorn sign!